People and Change: An Introduction to Counseling and Stress Management

By Catherine M. Flanagan | Go to book overview

6
Obsessive-Compulsive Problems

Many people like to keep themselves and their surroundings clean and tidy, to check that plugs are out and switches are off before going to bed and that doors are locked before going out. Many people feel uncomfortable in a room where pictures are slightly askew on the walls or color combinations in fabrics or decor do not match; likewise, if books are not returned to their shelves, or files are not put away in the appropriate order. Many people cannot sit down and relax until they have finished household or professional chores. Many people make lists of jobs to be done and tick them off with satisfaction as they go. It is common for people to experience a thought going around in their head at night of something that happened during the day that they felt they could have done better or of an interaction that did not go as well as they had expected. Nagging doubts that one did not address an envelope correctly or lock the safe before leaving the office are also quite common. These are all normal experiences of what are clinically referred to as obsessivecompulsive problems.

Normal levels of obsessionality are healthy; they ensure that desirable standards of hygiene, efficiency, safety, and organization are maintained. There is a difference, however, between these normal levels of efficiency, concern, and drive and the degree beyond--the point of diminishing returns--where the helpful mechanism becomes self-defeating and sometimes incapacitating.

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People and Change: An Introduction to Counseling and Stress Management
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page ii
  • Contents v
  • Preface ix
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Introduction 1
  • Part I - How Problems Develop 7
  • 1 - Learning 9
  • 2 - Sources of Stress 23
  • 3 - The Stress Response 49
  • Part II - Specific Problem Areas 59
  • 4 - Anxiety, Fears, and Phobias 61
  • 5 - Depression 75
  • 6 - Obsessive-Compulsive Problems 85
  • 7 - Relating 95
  • 8 - Marriage 105
  • 9 - Sex 113
  • 10 - Overindulgence 123
  • 11 - Attrition, Adherence, and Relapse 135
  • Appendix I - Identifying Problems and Planning Changes 149
  • Appendix V - Making Changes in Thinking 201
  • References 229
  • Author Index 237
  • Subject Index 245
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