Ocd Intrusive Thoughts Quotes

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Thoughts are only thoughts. They are not you. You do belong to yourself, even when your thoughts don't.
John Green (Turtles All the Way Down)
In the absence of effort the OCD pathology drives the brain’s circuitry, and compulsive behaviors result. But mental effort, I believe, generates a directed mental force that produces real physical effects: the brain changes that follow cognitive-behavioral therapy for OCD. The heroic mental effort required underlines the power of active mental processes like attention and will to redirect thoughts and actions in a way that is detectable on brain scans. Let me be clear about where mental effort enters the picture. The OCD patient is faced with two competing systems of brain circuitry. One underlies the passively experienced, pathological intrusions into consciousness. The other encodes information like the fact that the intrusions originate in faulty basal ganglia circuits. At first the pathological circuitry dominates, so the OCD patient succumbs to the insistent obsessions and carries out the compulsions. With practice, however, the conscious choice to exert effort to resist the pathological messages, and attend instead to the healthy ones, activates functional circuitry. Over the course of several weeks, that regular activation produces systematic changes in the very neural systems that generate those pathological messages—namely, a quieting of the OCD circuit. Again quoting James, “Volitional effort is effort of attention…. Effort of attention is thus the essential phenomenon of will.
Jeffrey M. Schwartz (The Mind and the Brain: Neuroplasticity and the Power of Mental Force)
I tried to point out that it's not a gimmick to teach patients suffering with OCD that their intrusive thoughts and urges are caused by brain imbalances, and that we now know they can physically alter those imbalances through mindfulness and self-directed behavioral therapy techniques.
Jeffrey M. Schwartz (The Mind and the Brain: Neuroplasticity and the Power of Mental Force)
This new preface serves to refine, and further clarify, the Four Steps to self-directed therapy: Relabel, Reattribute, Refocus and Revalue. When OCD patients Relabel, they are calling their disturbing thoughts and urges what they really are: obsessions and compulsions. When they Reattribute, they recognize that the bothersome thoughts won’t go away because they are symptoms of a disease, OCD. When they Refocus, they work around the intrusive thoughts by doing a constructive, enjoyable behavior. When they Revalue, they learn to ignore those thoughts and view them as worthless distractions.
Jeffrey M. Schwartz (Brain Lock: Free Yourself from Obsessive-Compulsive Behavior)