HomeAnswersPsychologist/ CounseloroverthinkingI am an OCD patient and I am addicted to overthinking. Kindly help.

What strategies or approaches can help individuals with OCD in overcoming excessive overthinking?

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The following is an actual conversation between an iCliniq user and a doctor that has been reviewed and published as a Premium Q&A.

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Published At September 1, 2023
Reviewed AtSeptember 1, 2023

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

I am an OCD patient who tends to overthink and has become addicted to excessive thinking. Although I am currently taking medication, I am seeking additional methods to break this thinking addiction. My excessive thinking is not always related to myself, it extends to any topic, even those unrelated to me. It feels as though there is a constant urge within my mind to keep thinking, regardless of the subject matter. I have tried various strategies, such as writing down all my thoughts on paper, engaging in self-dialogue to emphasize the negative impact of excessive thinking, and even attempting to forcefully stop myself from thinking. Unfortunately, none of these approaches have proven effective. My thoughts consume me to such an extent that I catch myself thinking while crossing the road or during conversations with others. It feels as though my mind is overwhelmed with an uncontrollable flood of thoughts, to the point where it feels like it may explode.

Kindly help.

Hello,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

I read your query and understood your concern. First of all, I would like to inform you that Fluvoxamine (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) and Clomipramine (Tricyclic antidepressant) are the recommended drugs for OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder). I am unsure if you are currently taking them, but I suggest you consult your treating psychiatrist regarding these medications. I suggest you follow non-pharmacological methods to control OCD. Behavior therapy, which focuses on learning and unlearning principles, is highly effective for OCD. Some common examples of behavior therapy used for OCD include exposure and response prevention, flooding, systematic desensitization, and negative reinforcement. I suggest you start with negative reinforcement. Tie a rubber band around your wrist. Whenever an absurd thought arises and begins to ruminate in your consciousness, pull the band and release it forcefully onto your wrist. The sudden, mildly painful sensation will distract you from that thought and provide an opportunity to redirect your mind toward something else. Through repeated practice, your mind will learn that excessive thinking about an absurd topic leads to an unpleasant response, discouraging prolonged thought processes. Another method is thought-stopping. When you become aware of repetitive unwanted thoughts, count and say aloud, ‘one, two, three, stop’ This will redirect your mind away from ruminating on the thought. Systematic desensitization involves relaxing your mind using breathing or relaxation techniques and then confronting the disturbing thought with a calm state of mind. This approach reduces the intrusive and anxiety-provoking nature of the thought. These are just a few examples of techniques. You can find more information about these methods on the internet or talk to your psychotherapist about this for further guidance. I hope this has helped you. Kindly follow up if you have more doubts.

Thank you.

Patient's Query

Thank you doctor for the reply,

Your rubber band idea is very good and it has helped me a lot to stop my overthinking. Can you please suggest me more ideas like this to stop overthinking and compulsive behavior. Kindly suggest me where I can learn more about these techniques related to negative reinforcement.

Hello,

Welcome back to icliniq.com

You can learn more about non-pharmacological methods to stop overthinking on internet through various educational articles. I hope this has helped you. Kindly follow up if you have more doubts.

Thank you.

Same symptoms don't mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Dr. Meena. Parth Singh
Dr. Meena. Parth Singh

Psychologist/ Counselor

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