Categories
OCD app

Can changing the way you think help you cope with OCD?

It is now well documented that negative thinking habits affect people’s ability to deal with mental challenges. Multiple studies in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy show that OCD symptoms can improve by working on appraisals and adaptive thinking.

However, it is sometimes unclear what is the cause and what’s the effect: does OCD fuel negative thinking? or does negative thinking fuel OCD?

Common belief looks at OCD as some kind of an entity with its own mind. Trying to battle and control this entity is tiring and often fruitless.

One approach Cognitive Behavioral Therapy suggests is to look at OCD from a different angle – by dividing the cognitive process to two: controllable and uncontrollable thoughts.

When dealing with OCD, we can have all kinds of thoughts – some disturbing or annoying. One useful approach is letting these uncontrollable thoughts go by, without trying to control or change them.

There are two parts to this approach though: following these uncontrollable thoughts, we can have additional thoughts – that continue and build upon the negative story and strengthen it. These thoughts are actually something that we can control.

To give an example: I had a disturbing thought about me doing something bad. This thought was uncontrollable. I’d better just let is go and forget all about it.

Immediately after it, pop additional thoughts: maybe I’m a bad person? What if I did something bad? These thoughts seem as a logical progression from the original uncontrollable thought, but they are actually part of the story I’m telling myself.

So how do I avoid getting into the story?

Here we can use another technique. We give the story a name. Let’s name this story – “The story of me thinking disturbing thoughts and getting freaked out about being a bad person”. From now on, when I will have these thoughts, I will ask myself – “Do I want to tell myself the story of me thinking disturbing thoughts and getting freaked out about being a bad person?”

Is the answer yes? then maybe I do actually want to get into this story. But I have to now know that this was my choice. It is not some kind of external or uncontrollable entity that caused me to get into the story. It was me!

Is the answer no? Great, let’s try to not get into this story then. This was just a thought, and while it was disturbing and hard taking it in, I can cope with it.

Obviously, these are just suggestions. There are many techniques. For example, by using our OCD app, we can learn to let go of negative thoughts, and offer alternative, more adaptive thoughts that can come instead and replace the negative thoughts.

The main conclusion? Focus on the controllable, and make your new year helpful and supportive.

Categories
OCD app

Can a mobile app help cope with OCD?

In the past, people coping with OCD who were looking for solutions had limited options. You could go see a psychiatrist, whose tools are psychotherapy and medicine. Later on, CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) introduced new protocols that proved to be effective for OCD.

Nowadays, the gold standard for OCD remains CBT therapy, however there are new tools that use this methodology remotely or digitally. More often than before, people who want to solve a problem often search for an app that solves this problem. For example, if you want to improve your physical fitness, you may use an app for that.

Apps have great potential as e-learning and training tools, because they are accessible, immediate and relatively easy to form habits with.

So, when looking for an app to help deal with OCD, what should you look for?

The 4 OCD app “must haves”

1. Evidence based

There are many products that promise the world, but not many of them are researched using academic methods and peer reviews. You want your app to have at least some sort of research backing and credibility. If possible, it should have actual on-product studies that are published in well known academic journals.

2. Beyond articles and videos

The power of apps is that they “applications” – meaning that they actually do stuff and not just serve as a browser. We are bombarded by information, but apps have the ability to transform the most relevant information into practice using daily tasks and activities.

3. Great user experience and customer support

You don’t want an app that someone uploaded to the app store ages ago but doesn’t provide support for. Search for apps that are being updated regularly, that provide with easy to use and intuitive user interface and that help you do what needs to be done as quickly and efficiently as possible.

4. Privacy minded

The last thing we want is that someone will use our private information for any purpose other than help us improve our coping with OCD. That’s why it’s important to use apps that clearly label their use of user data and their tracking policy.

Most credible mental health apps know that and respect user privacy, but it’s always a good idea to check out this information. By the way, if an app uses anonymized tracking codes to drive downloads via marketing channels, it isn’t necessarily a problem. What is important is that the data isn’t shared and no identifiable user information is being shared across apps and platforms.

APP DOWNLOAD LINKS:

OCD vs. Anxiety: key differences

Mental diagnosis can be difficult, in part because the differences between individuals’ internal experiences can seem quite nuanced. Per community request, here are some of the key differences between OCD…

Continue reading

OCD test: to check or not to check?

People who deal with OCD can often feel the urge to check. Constant checking can become a ritual. Checking comes in many forms: making sure the door is locked, checking…

Continue reading

OCD Test: what it means about you?

There are thousands of daily searches with the term “OCD test”, as people go online to seek help with their condition and try to assess their situation and diagnosis. One…

Continue reading