Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Unlocked

If you think that overcoming Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is impossible, then you need to know about the work of Dr. Jeffrey Schwartz, MD, renowned psychiatrist and neuroscientist.


He will give you and your loved one hope!


Definition of Obsessive-compulsive disorder:

OCD vs normal PET Scan Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder in which people have unwanted and repeated thoughts, feelings, ideas, sensations (obsessions), or behaviors that make them feel driven to do something (compulsions).


Can the Obsessive Compulsive (OCD) brain as shown by PET scan above be retrained to return to the normal state of mind as in the normal control above?


By comparing the PET brain scans of people with OCD to those with more normal brain function Dr. Schwartz realized that the OCD brain was stuck in a loop of nerve networks firing repeatedly that kept them focused on their compulsion.


So he wondered if there was a way to shift them manually out of this loop of neuronal brain firing which he called “brain lock”. Could people shift this brain lock by paying very close attention and actively focus on something new and pleasurable? Could they grow a new brain circuit?


Fortunately he realized that folks with OCD have a medical problem that fuels their thoughts and urges.


Obsessive compulsive disorder symptoms may manifest as one of a number of “stuck” behaviors:

Washing and Cleaning (hand washing compulsion is one we commonly think of with OCD)

Going back repeatedly to check on something, like locking the door, or turning off the stove

Counting in the mind

Repetition of Normal Activities

Special prayer repetitions

Ordering or Arranging items repeatedly

Saving or Collecting in inordinate quantities

Mental Compulsions

Special words, images, and numbers recreated mentally to reduce anxiety

Making lists in the mind

Mental reviewing


Even more fortunately Dr. Schwartz developed an obsessive compulsive disorder treatment  program to unlock the OCD brain. He counsels and teaches his patients to take these steps when a compulsive behavior threatens to take over:


1. Relabel what’s happening. It’s not an attack of germs but rather an attack of OCD – brain lock.

A patient asks, “What’s the lie I am believing?” When they recognize the lie then they can focus on the truth.

2. Remind themselves that the reason for the attack is the faulty circuit. “It’s not me–it’s my OCD.” That’s the fighting weapon. It is a reminder that OCD thoughts and urges don’t mean anything, that they are false messages from the brain.

3. Refocus on the positive with an activity like gardening, helping another person, playing a musical instrument or listening to music, or exercising. Involving another person helps to distract and shift the brain to another thought. If they’re driving listening to music or a CD helps refocus the brain.


Sounds simple and obvious, but it’s not for the person with OCD. It takes a lot of effort in thought or action to make the shift!


They are instructed to focus intently on a new activity for 15 to thirty minutes. If that length of time is not possible, then refocus for at least for one minute. It takes time to form new circuits in the brain.


80% of Dr. Schwartz’s patients get better with this method especially if he prescribes an anti-depressant drug like Anafranil or a Prozac-like drug to ease the anxiety. Some respond without ever taking medication and eventually the patients taking the medication can stop taking the drug.


Thankfully folks with OCD now have hope for recovery and more normal living. They can step out of the lies that their brains have been locked on and step into truth and freedom.


For more information about overcoming OCD launch your search here.


References Book: Brain Lock by Dr. Jeffrey Schwartz

About Dr. Schwartz: http://www.youarenotyourbrain.com/drschwartz/

His website: http://jeffreymschwartz.com/



http://hope4ocd.com/overview.php Overview

http://hope4ocd.com/foursteps.php Westwood Institute for Anxiety Disorders, UCLA uses Jeffrey Schwartz’s four Steps:

Step 1: Relabel

Step 2: Reattribute

Step 3: Refocus

Step 4: Revalue


http://www.dana.org/news/cerebrum/detail.aspx?id=148 – longer article


Dr. Amen’s Clinic assesses OCD with PET scans



YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BvmoC7T0Zlo 6:28 minutes



Dr. Jo


About Dr. Jo

Dr. JoDr. Jo delights in sharing the message of health. She believes disease is optional if you know how to take care of yourself. And she’s a great coach to help you reverse or prevent disease.

So she writes this blog to keep you up to date with information that may undermine your health if you are not aware of it. She also provides tips on healthy living, how to reverse degenerative diseases, delicious recipes, and ways to enjoyably change your habits to healthy ones.

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