Building a Profile of Your OCD - dummies

Building a Profile of Your OCD

Part of Managing OCD with CBT For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Just like any other problem, solving your OCD is far more productive if you define the problem well. Here are some of the key elements of OCD to look for and then target for change:

  • Your main fears, intrusive thoughts, images, impulses or doubts

  • Situations, people, objects or activities that you avoid because of your fears or obsessions

  • Compulsions that you carry out in your mind or in your behaviour in response to your obsessions

  • Ways in which you and/or others may have adjusted to or accommodated your OCD so you can try to get by in the short term

  • Ways in which you may practise perfectionism, black-and-white thinking or the need for things to be just so or feel right

  • Ways in which you tend to take significantly more responsibility than average for causing or preventing harm

  • Ways in which you may be intolerant of uncertainty

  • The meaning you attach to the unwanted thoughts and images that enter your mind

  • The importance you place on responding ‘appropriately’ to an unwanted thought, image, doubt or impulse rather than simply dismissing it

  • Ways in which you attempt to control or get rid of the unwanted thoughts or images that enter your mind

When you’ve defined the problem a bit more clearly, you can start to think about how you can turn things on their head and start to chip away at the mechanisms that are maintain your OCD.