Characteristics of Obsessional Thinking

OCD likes to highjack our emotions by using the following thinking errors:

  1. Narrowing your thinking onto a specific topic of worry that is attached to a catastrophic consequence.
  2. Analyzing and thinking/rethinking that goes back and forth, trying to argue for and against whether something is an obsession.
  3. Believing that thinking about something over and over will bring certainty.
  4. Believing that there is a perfect solution that will bring certainty.
  5. Making decisions primarily based on feelings (emotional reasoning).
  6. Making issues that aren’t moral issues into moral issues.
  7. Believing that you can and should have perfect control over all of your thoughts.
  8. Treating all thoughts as if they had significance instead of letting them pass through.
  9. Feeling that you must do something a specific way “or else” something bad will happen.
  10. Using avoidance as a way of coping with things that are feared.


  • Worry does not make you safer, although it tries to tell you that you are.
  • Moving through and past anxiety actually increases your ability to discern, make decisions, and solve problems.
  • OCD is always going to try to bring up yet another “what if?” in your mind.
  • OCD is always going to “yell” and call to mind worst-case-scenarios when you try to ignore it or move past it.

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