We all know people who think too much, to the point that they can have problems in their daily life because of it. These are people who think a lot about the same subject. They therefore experience anxiety, extreme worry and stress. We will talk about obsessive person when this happens regularly.
We will see in today’s article what are the causes that lead a person to enter these types of vicious circles, as well as some of the latest theories on the subject.
Why do obsessions happen?
Cognitive theories of anxiety disorders consider that deficits in information processing are one of the most important factors for the origin and maintenance of this type of disorder (Beck, Emery & Greenberg, 1985). The interest in the cognitive aspects of people with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), however recent. There are currently very few studies on processing the emotional information of the obsessive person.
Recent research has shown that obsessive people have deficits in tasks designed to measure cognitive distortions and biases (Steketee, Frost, Rhéaume & Wilhelm, 2001). Studies on processing emotionally relevant information indicate that the obsessive person may be more sensitive to stimuli that are related to their fears.
Thoughts, impulses or images do not boil down to mere excessive preoccupation with real-life problems. They go much further. The person tries to ignore or suppress these thoughts, impulses or images, or tries to neutralize them with other thoughts or actions.
The objective of these acts or behaviors is the prevention or reduction of the discomfort of a negative event or situation. These mental behaviors or operations, however, are not realistically related to what they claim to neutralize or prevent, or are manifestly excessive.
The obsessions, the anxiety of the 21st century
In recent editions, the American Psychological Association (APA) included obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. This is due to its disabling properties, as well as its high incidence in the population in recent times.
People suffering from this disease feel trapped in it, repeating for hours, in the most extreme cases, a specific action without any control over their actions. C es people are also more prone to depression and other psychological disorders (such as hypochondria or phobias). This is a direct consequence of the anxiety produced by OCD.
- Cleaning or obsession with hygiene
- Verification, insecurity and constant verification of domestic situations
- Order, search for symmetry and precision
There are, however, many other types of obsessions. Some are typical of modern society, including social media addiction. Their rise has transformed them into another form of obsession in that the same parameters and constraints are repeated as in traditional obsessions.
The same patterns of thoughts, ideas and behavior are repeated in the obsessions of sentimental life. The peculiarity here that we are looking to control another person instead of an object. The uncontrollable desire to be with someone sometimes becomes such an obsession that we end up mistaking it for love.
This type of obsession forces us to act compulsively to get what we want, which is to be with the person. These obsessive behaviors paradoxically end up removing the loved one for good.
Treatments to stop being an obsessive person
Treatment for eliminating the obsessions is based on changing the mistaken beliefs that the obsessive person has about intruding their fears. We thus try to reduce the anxiety generated by the thoughts.
This type of treatment also tends to eradicate the obsessions involved in maintaining beliefs of responsibility (Salkovskis, Richards & Forrester, 2000). The central idea of cognitive-behavioral processing is that emotional and behavioral responses are nuanced and strongly influenced by cognitions and perceptions.
The main goal of this behavioral approach is to encourage the obsessive person to develop specific behavior patterns that lead to changes in the way the patient sees himself and the outside world. Emphasis should therefore be placed on changing mental processes and thoughts as well as the habitual way of behaving of the person.
Beck, AT, Emery, G. and Greenberg, RL (1985). Anxiety and phobic disorders: a cognitive approach. Base, New York .
Married Martin, Y. (2008). Emotional treatment in people with obsessive-compulsive symptoms.
Salkovskis, PM, Wroe, AL, Gledhill, A., Morrison, N., Forrester, E., Richards, C., and Thorpe, S. (2000). Responsible attitudes and interpretations are characteristic of obsessive-compulsive disorder. Behavioral Research and Therapy , 38 (4), 347-372.
Steketee, G., Frost, RO, Rhéaume, J. and Wilhelm, S. (2001). Theory and practice of cognitive therapy for obsessive-compulsive disorder. The ‘re obsessive .
Vallejo Pareja, M. Á. (2001). Effective psychological treatments for obsessive-compulsive disorder. Psicotheme , 13 (3).