You can have intrusive thoughts and still be an absolutely lovely person
- Intrusive thoughts are recurrent, unwanted thoughts that can be horrible, scary, violent, or humiliating thoughts – I’ve found the people that have these thoughts are often some of the loveliest people I’ve ever met.
You are not your thoughts – they are not in control – you are in control of you
- If you have these thoughts, first: you are not your thoughts; secondly, your thoughts aren’t in control of you, your OCD isn’t in control of you – you are in control of you.
Stressful situations can drive intrusive thoughts
- People with intrusive thoughts have difficulty tolerating uncertainty in their lives – they look at their thoughts as significant and true, they tend to have more of these thoughts during stressful times in their lives.
“Pure O” might not have obvious compulsions – but they’re still there
- People do things not to have the thoughts e.g., praying, phrases, seeking reassurance, counting numbers, might insist on not being alone, try to relax — all of these behaviors are actually compulsive behaviors that are reinforcing the thought.
Quick overview of methods:
- First method: Exposure Therapy you have to lean into the thought, it’s uncomfortable, but you have to stay in it – you have to say what the thought is, you have to say trigger words.You have to be anxious for exposure to work
- Second method: Disassociate — If you picture OCD separate from you and picture it as a monster – for example we’ll call the monster “Gus” – and we’re going to disassociate from the thought – that’s the thoughts over there, and this is us — then you push back and your voice becomes louder and you start to see and feel the monster getting smaller. This is disassociating / separating from OCD.
- Third method: For Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, we challenge the thought.
- Fourth method: Visualization, view their thoughts as certain forms, for example, clouds that are passing by that we don’t have control over.