It is common to have frightening thoughts such as a whim about jumping when standing on a cliff, saying very inappropriate things, or about disasters that may happen. For some people, however, obsessive-compulsive disorder prevails, and it can be an obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). 

 


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This article is based on a case from KK.no. Here you read which obsessions are among the most common.

 

Occasional frightening thoughts are common

They have interviewed the central board chairman of the Norwegian OCD association Ananke, Arne Strand, who tells KK.no:

It is estimated that one to three percent of the population has an obsessive-compulsive disorder, and several may experience obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) during their lifetime, but which eventually passes. 

They also quote psychologist Bjarne Hansen, who works daily with specialized treatment of OCD.

Most people will from time to time get thoughts with a content that is unpleasant and scary. Examples of this are thoughts of having to jump when standing on a cliff, thoughts of saying something inappropriate and the like. For most people, this is unproblematic and part of the flow of thoughts that one does not care much about. For those affected by obsessive-compulsive disorder, this is different, he says.

 

For some, the scary thoughts take over

OCD is an anxiety disorder which means that the obsessive thoughts and actions get out of control and affect the daily functioning of everyday life. An obsessive-compulsive disorder means that you experience thoughts of the type mentioned above, in combination with persistent attempts to control these thoughts and anxiety.

This constitutes a vicious circle where fear of normal thoughts leads to attempts at control, which in turn leads to more of the same thoughts, Bjarne Hansen explains.

It is emphasized in the article that those who are affected by an obsessive-compulsive disorder often experience this as a great burden and that the mental illness has a negative effect on the quality of life.

 

Common themes for obsessions

The list that KK.no mentions of common obsessions includes the following:

 

  1. Thoughts about getting infected or about infecting others with a dangerous disease.
  2. Thoughts that there may be a fire or burglary, or that other accidents may occur. 
  3. Thoughts that you yourself experience as inappropriate, often with sexual or blasphemous content.
  4. Thoughts that you may do something you do not want to do, such as hurting someone you love.  

In parallel with obsessive thoughts, one often has compulsive actions, which are thematically often linked to the frightening thoughts.

For example, coercion may include excessive washing of hands, which may logically be related to a fear of becoming infected or of infecting others; it could be that you check the lock very many times before you walk out the door, that you check if the stove is turned off very many times, or there may be actions that seem more illogical, such as a compulsive suspension in getting everything around him to go up in a certain number or a certain system.

Coercive actions and coercive actions are closely linked, and in short become a way of trying to avoid anxiety or control anxiety - but which leads to the opposite: that one remains in a state of anxiety, and that one experiences a loss of control in relation to one's own thoughts. and actions.

 

Treatment for obsessions and compulsions

Bjarne Hansen tells KK.no that in the last four years, 30 specialized OCD teams have been established throughout Norway, so that such effective treatment will be available in all health trusts. He tells:

To receive such treatment, you can contact your GP who can refer you to a local psychiatric word or child and adolescent mental health care clinic who then sends a secondary referral to the OCD team. Therapeutic first choice is psychological treatment called "Exposure with response prevention" or ERP. 

The model used for this therapy is the reknown Bergen 4-day therapy (B4DT). 

 

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Written by

ove heradstveit

Ove Heradstveit

Psychologist, specialist in clinical community psychology. PhD.
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