Dysfunctional Belief Domains In OCD

At this point it is worthwhile to devote a bit of space to something very characteristic in OCD. I have written about the different symptom dimensions (forms of expression, or more abstract: phenomenological guises) of OCD. But as patients will certainly know: there is something ‘out of order’ in one’s appraisal of thoughts; they often cannot be given their proper importance or weight. I will present them here in the form they were listed by the group of Moulding et al (2010), with a brief description:

  • inflated responsibility: the belief that one is able to cause or prevent bad outcomes or events that are  extraordinarily important in the eyes of the patient
  • overimportance of thoughts: if a certain thought is present, it is considered  important, merely because it is there
  • importance of controlling one’s thoughts: one wants to completely control one’s thoughts, and this is seen as entirely possible and desirable
  • overestimations of threats: chance for, and severity of harm are overexaggerated
  • intolerance of uncertainty: absolute certainty is seen as necessary, and coping with unpredicability and ambiguity is  difficult
  • perfectionism: the idea that there is a perfect solution to every problem; the belief that acting without making mistakes is possible and necessary; and the conviction that making minor mistakes will have grave consequences

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