Obsessive compulsive disorder is a mental illness that thousands of people suffer from each and every day. This is actually an anxiety disorder that is classified by someone who needs to do certain rituals or routines each day in order to feel normal. Someone who suffers from OCD has repetitive thoughts in their head that won’t go away until they do something specific. This might be washing their hands ten times, flipping the light switch eight times before leaving the house or eating foods in a specific order.
Each person is unique with the symptoms they show and these can get worse with time. Some people also have this disorder worse than others, which can mean it takes over their life with every single thing they do. Treatment is extremely important for individuals who don’t want OCD to completely take over their life any longer. There are a lot of treatments available, cognitive behavioral therapy is one of them. This is a common choice for individuals who don’t want to take medications because of the side effects associated with them Email Extractor Software.
How CBT for OCD works
Cognitive behavioral therapy has proved itself as an extremely effective way to help treat OCD. It’s important for individuals to realize they will have to use the tools they learn in therapy for the rest of their lives. OCD isn’t just something that is going to go away with time, but it can be controlled by those who are dedicated to living a better life.
When a person goes into treatment, they will start off with getting rid of their reinforcing behaviors. This means changing behavior so they don’t feel the need to ask themselves questions repeatedly. Thoughts that are not reinforced will decrease in time, which means they will go away eventually when they aren’t given attention. The next step in therapy will be treatment for the habituation process.
The therapist will have the sufferer think of something that repeats itself in their mind on a daily basis. Instead of just thinking about this once or twice, they will need to think about it over and over again. When someone habitually thinks about something on their own, the mind is going to start accepting it. The response will also be less emotional, which means there is no reinforcing behavior to be associated with it. When this is done it will upset the way the mind thinks and make it less of a need to think about. This can make it a lot easier for someone to move onto something else instead of feeding the action that is associated with the repetitive thought.
The exposure part of CBT for OCD is one that is most difficult for individuals to endure. This is where they will actually expose themselves to the things that stress them out the most. For example, someone who thinks that they have to wash their hands after touching money would have to touch money without washing their hands. Although stress will be high at first, this is something the mind will get used to when it’s constantly repeated. Once this is done, the brain will not associate that item or action with fear, like it did before.
Coming in contact with feared situations and items will be stressful for the mind. The exercises that therapists provide are designed to help sufferers deal with this in a more efficient manner. Clients will have to learn that there is always going to be danger associated with their fear, but that it’s worth the risk. When they are able to do the action without their fears happening, they won’t feel the need to soothe their anxieties with the OCD behavior.