Pure O OCD - How To Treat Pure OCD

pure o ocd pure ocd Jul 17, 2017

Pure O OCD - How To Treat Pure OCD


A common sub-type of OCD is something known as “Pure Obsessional OCD” or “Pure O OCD” or “Pure OCD.” A person who suffers with Pure OCD will experience various obsessive thoughts, but will generally not display any noticeable outward compulsive behaviors (Hence the phrase “Pure Obsessional OCD”). These obsessive thoughts are reported to be intrusive and unwanted by the sufferer. Additionally the thoughts experienced by the sufferer usually include the individual engaging in an act that person considers to be immoral or inappropriate. For people that struggle with Pure O OCD, these thoughts can be very troubling and painful, specifically because they are often very against the person’s true character.

Since people with Pure O OCD are often unaware that they are suffering from a sub-type of OCD and much of what they experience happens in their mind, they often suffer in silence for many years. It is also important to note that Pure O OCD is commonly misunderstood and misdiagnosed by many mental health professionals. As a result, the person suffering sometimes wrongly concludes there is something internally wrong with them which often leads to isolation, which unfortunately only magnifies the experienced with Pure O OCD.

Different Obsessive Thoughts Categorized Under PURE O OCD

Here are some different types of obsessions people with Pure OCD might experience:

Sexual Obsessions: some of these obsessions might include worries that one may sexually violate a child, sometimes often referred to as Pedophile OCD or someone may experience worries regarding their sexual orientation which is often referred to as Gay OCD, H-OCD, or Sexual Orientation OCD (SO-OCD). People may also report that they have repetitive worries that they may one-day have an affair on their spouse.

Harmful Obsessions: these types of obsessions are intrusive harmful thoughts or images of physically hurting another person and can be directed towards one’s spouse, parent, child, self, or friends. Another form of Harm OCD may include a worry that one has run over a person while driving their car which is sometimes called hit and run OCD.

Some other Pure O OCD obsessions include categories such as Scrupulosity, and Existential OCD.

Click Here For More Examples of Obsessive Thoughts

Compulsive Behaviors

The term Pure O OCD often causes some people to falsely believe that this form of OCD does not include compulsions. However, when it comes to almost every case of OCD, compulsive behaviors are always present, they can take the form of outward behavioral compulsions or mental rituals. And when it comes to the latter, there are countless ways for individuals to engage in mental compulsions

Here are some  examples of Mental Rituals

Thought blocking –or trying to prevent a thought from entering your mind
Thought suppression – or trying to stop thinking or focusing on certain thoughts
Thought replacement – or trying to purposely think of something in order to distract your mind from a negative thought
Analyzing previous conversations –This is when one repeatedly replays conversations in their head to make sure they did not say anything inappropriate.
Counting – when one counts numbers or objects in order to distract themselves from unwanted thoughts
Praying – when one engages in praying to God or any other religious figure to address unwanted thoughts. This is a tricky compulsion because one must identify why they are praying and what they are praying about. If the prayer is a reaction to a negative thought there is a good chance it is a compulsive behavior.
Mental review: When one reviews his or her memory to gain certainty about an event that already occurred.

In addition to mental compulsions, individuals with Pure O also engage in outward behavioral compulsions, such as seeking reassurance, avoidance, and repeating behaviors.

The most common and most accepted form of treatment for OCD is Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) and it has shown to be very successful in the treatment of Pure O OCD.  Exposure and response prevention is a form of behavioral therapy that involves the individual exposing themselves to obsessive thoughts then preventing themselves from engaging in compulsive behaviors. This often involves utilizing a structured, hierarchical method and progressively introducing more difficult exposures.

Some examples of different exposures might include:

An individual with Harmful Obsession writing or saying words or phrases that cause them anxiety.

Or an individual with Sexual Obsessions writing out a graphic story about them performing inappropriate sexual acts or reading stories about people who have actually engaged in those acts.

Another effective treatment for Pure O OCD is Mindfulness-Based Therapy. To briefly explain, the primary goal of Mindfulness is to learn to accept uncomfortable thoughts and forego casting any judgment on them. When incorporating Mindfulness the ultimate goal is to develop the ability to be accept the experience of any uncomfortable thought without responding in a compulsive manner.