Understanding OCD: Obsessions, Mental Rituals, and Compulsions

Michelle-Woidneck2

Utah State University
Boys Town Center for Behavioral Health

Key Points

  1. Stacy’s OCD manifests in mental compulsions and avoidance behaviors, driven by her need for self-reassurance about her relationship.
  2. Her OCD symptoms fluctuate, intensifying with specific triggers, and were notably exacerbated following her engagement and a premarital questionnaire.
  3. Misinterpretations by others, including clinicians, can either maintain or exacerbate Stacy’s condition, demonstrating the complexity and sensitivity of treating OCD in the context of significant life changes.
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Nature of Mental Compulsions

Stacy's response to her obsessive thoughts involves various mental rituals primarily focused on self-reassurance:

  1. Creating pros and cons lists about her relationship.
  2. Mentally reviewing reasons for being together and assessing past interactions.
  3. Constantly checking feelings for signs of affection.
  4. Making mental comparisons to past partners and other couples.
  5. Trying to avoid doubting thoughts by avoiding triggers.

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