Stress Management

Taking A Cognitive Approach To Treating OCD


About one in every fifty adults in the United States has obsessive compulsive disorder. This condition interferes with the individual’s ability to function normally on a daily basis because he becomes overwhelmed with persistent thoughts and actions. Obsessive compulsive disorder treatment is necessary for the individual to overcome these all encompassing thoughts and repetitive actions.

 We have all experienced the feeling that we left the stove on in the kitchen when deep down we know we shut it off. We fret over the idea of our home going up in smoke because of the oversight. Many of us find ourselves thinking through the steps we took in the morning before we left to come to the conclusion that we did indeed shut off the stove. Other people are unable to do this.

An individual who has obsessive compulsive disorder will go back to the home, check to see that he did actually shut off the stove and leave again only to return in a little while to check the stove again. The individual knows that the stove is off but his thoughts and actions work against his mind.

One of the most successful obsessive compulsive disorder treatments available is cognitive therapy. Cognitive therapy works with the individual’s mind rather than his mood. This is an ideal obsessive compulsive disorder treatment because it focuses on thought patterns and it helps the patient exercise his brain.

Cognitive therapy is not the best approach as a treatment for conditions like depression and bipolar disorder because these are mood disorders that hinge on an individual’s emotions rather than his cognitive functioning. While it is difficult to think yourself out of a mood you can definitely reap the benefits of using cognition as an obsessive compulsive disorder treatment.

The disorder starts as a thought. The thought perseverates over and over interrupting proper cognitive functioning. These irrational, repetitive thoughts move into the individual’s behavior patterns. Common behaviors exhibited by a person who has this disorder include but are not limited to: checking locks, washing hands, opening and closing windows as well as other ritualistic patterns of behavior.

Taking a cognitive approach for obsessive compulsive disorder treatment is the first step in gaining control of the thought patterns that lead to the behavior patterns. Once the thoughts are under control the individual finds that the repetitive behavior and craving for order diminish significantly. Gradually with regular obsessive compulsive disorder treatment the individual is able to function on a relatively normal basis.