Your OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) thoughts are false alarms and you should treat them as such. Dr. from the UCLA School of Medicine. Research by Jeffrey M. Schwartz shows that: Bio-behavioral therapy works to retrain the brain stuck in OCD thought patterns. this no easy, but longer-lasting and more sustainable than relying on what he calls a “water wings” approach to treatment, that is, drugs alone. There is no drug on the planet that will retrain your brain. Schwartz describes this training in the following four steps.
There is no drug on the planet that will retrain your brain.
- Re-label: Increase your awareness of your thoughts, when it interferes with how you want to live your life, are SYMPTOMS of a medical disorder. I think a problem isn’t a problem until it is! This is when thoughts sometimes appear as intrusive thoughts and prompt you to feel can’t control. Start labeling them as obsessions and compulsions with little basis in reality, in fact false alarms. Your goal is to be in control Answers not to thoughts, but to thoughts.
- Re-attribution: “It’s not me, it’s my OCD!” (It even rhymes, which may or may not be helpful.) There is a structure in the brain called the caudate nucleus. Together with their sister structure, the putamen, they act like an automatic transmission in a car in the normal brain. They control the many changes you make daily between controlling body movement, physical sensations, and the thinking and planning that surrounds those movements. This is a change that is disrupted by the OCD brain. You have the cerebral version of a sticky manual transmission. You need an immense amount of work to change thoughts comfortably. This is due to a malfunction in the caudate nucleus, which has been repeatedly demonstrated through PET scans of brains with OCD. Also, your orbital cortex, the front part of your brain, has an error-detection circuit stuck in gear. This is the reason why you feel “something is wrong”. So the point here is that it is a medical condition that will cause a manual change in feelings and thoughts. When you do this, you actually start to change your own brain chemistry.
- Refocus: This is the most difficult step – the “no pain, no gain” step. With effort and mindfulness, you will easily do what the caudate nucleus normally does. How? Hobbies are especially good. You can also go for a walk, listen to music, exercise, read, play a computer game, knit, shoot a basketball, etc. you can Main: Do something pleasant and constructive. This also includes delays. They should be anywhere from 15 seconds to 15 minutes, increasingly longer BEFORE you are engaging in compulsive behavior. During the delay, you engage in another pleasurable activity and then reassess your desire. You appreciate him and admit that he failed you this time and try next time. E.g: “I wash my hands not because they’re dirty, but because of my OCD.”
- Don’t wait for the thought or feeling to go away.
- Don’t expect it to pass immediately.
- Don’t do it Do what your OCD tells you to do.
4. Reassessment: So you work with #3 along with #1 and #2 – this is the step where you relearn and reevaluate your thoughts. As a result, you begin to learn to place a lower value on your thoughts and urges, often rejecting them. How long does it take? using the idea of a impartial audience inside you, which you carry around all the time, you begin to gain the distance you need to put your thoughts into context – like the functions of your sticky mechanical transmission. Anticipating and accepting your thoughts = active reappraisal.
If you are having trouble with sticky OCD thoughts, contact me here. We can work in person or online to begin retraining your brain into a healthier pattern. Please remember that your OCD thoughts are false alarms and this is hard work. you have to I want enough change to want the work that comes with achieving it.
Resource: Brain lockJeffrey M. Schwartz, MD, 1996, Harper Collins