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Navigating the Invisible: Mental Compulsions in OCD

January 30, 2024

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When one thinks of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), the immediate image might be of repeated handwashing or checking rituals. However, OCD has a subtler, often overlooked facet: mental compulsions. These internal compulsions can be just as distressing, and understanding them is crucial for comprehensive OCD care.

Mental Compulsions: The Unseen Rituals

Unlike the overt behaviors commonly associated with OCD, mental compulsions operate silently, making them harder to identify, both for the individual and those around them.

  1. Rumination: An individual might find themselves lost in a cycle of overthinking, attempting to solve or neutralize intrusive thoughts.
  2. Mental Review: There might be a repetitive review of events or conversations, searching for assurance or trying to prevent a feared outcome.
  3. Counter-Thoughts: Introducing opposing, “safe” thoughts to counteract the distressing, intrusive ones. [link to podcast]

The Impact of Mental Compulsions

Just because these compulsions aren’t visible doesn’t mean they’re any less taxing. The mental energy expended can be overwhelming, leading to exhaustion and further anxiety.

  1. Isolation: Those with mental compulsions might feel isolated, believing that their experience isn’t “real” OCD because it lacks observable rituals.
  2. Misunderstanding: Without visible symptoms, friends, family, or even some professionals might downplay or misunderstand the person’s distress. [link to podcast]

Addressing Mental Compulsions with Specialized Approaches

Targeted therapeutic strategies are key. While generic interventions might fall short, treatments like Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) are specifically tailored to address the unique challenges posed by mental compulsions in OCD.

Delve Deeper with the OCD and Anxiety Recovery Blueprint

To further understand the nuances of OCD, especially the realm of mental compulsions, my comprehensive digital course, “The OCD and Anxiety Recovery Blueprint”, is an invaluable resource. Here, you’ll find a wealth of insights and evidence-based strategies tailored to address the multifaceted challenges of OCD. Unlock a deeper understanding and embark on a more informed path to recovery today.

Resources for Your OCD and Anxiety Recovery

To learn more about OCD and anxiety recovery strategies and resources, visit my website at Here you can find additional support and guidance.

Want more content like this? Check out some of my related podcasts and The OCD and Anxiety Recovery Blueprint below.

DISCLAIMER: Please keep in mind that Jenna is not your therapist. She does not provide you with individualized recommendations or advice. The information provided is intended as educational information only. Jenna cannot tell you what you should do, what you shouldn’t do, or give recommendations based on your unique situations or circumstances. Nothing on this page or Site should be construed as therapeutic recommendation or personalized advice. 

If you are in need of such services, please consult with a physician or other medical provider right away to determine the best course of action for you. We are not responsible for your use of this page, this website, or the contents within. NEVER DISREGARD PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE OR DELAY SEEKING MEDICAL TREATMENT BECAUSE OF SOMETHING YOU READ OR ACCESSED THROUGH THIS WEBSITE AND CONTENT. For more information, please read the Terms and Conditions, Privacy Policy, and Disclaimer. Your continued use of this platform, this page, and the contents within constitutes as your agreement with this agreement.

© 2023 Jenna Overbaugh, LLC, All Rights Reserved


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