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 Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) 

Obsessions are unwanted and invasive repetitive and persistent thoughts or impulses, for example, to harm someone, which lead to suffering and anxiety. Compulsions are repetitive behaviors or mental acts in response to obsessions and in relation to strict rules designed to reduce stress or the risk of feared events.


One of the cognitive models suggests that the difference between harmless invasive thoughts and those of the disorder is in the way a person interprets them. In OCD, they are seen as a sign that the person may be contaminated or do harm to someone, for example.


The key aspects of treatment include challenging beliefs that maintain the disorder, such as the belief that the person can cause an event just by thinking about it, the exaggerated responsibility for the occurrence of events and the obligation to avoid them. Other beliefs to be weakened are that there is a perfect way of doing things. It is also necessary to change the habit of overestimating danger and increasing tolerance for uncertainty.


The treatment emphasizes behavioral experiments that seek to check the reality of the dangers of contamination or of hurting someone, for example. It is also important to test the processes that serve to maintain the problem, such as compulsions, avoidance, seeking self-assurance and being absolutely sure.

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