Most People Experience Thoughts Associated With OCD

It is reactions to the thoughts that distinguishes OCD patients, the general population

FRIDAY, April 18, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The vast majority of people experience unwanted, intrusive thoughts and images and/or impulses symptomatic of obsessive-compulsive disorder, according to a study published in the Journal of Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders.

Adam S. Radomsky, Ph.D., from Concordia University in Montreal, and colleagues utilized the International Intrusive Thoughts Interview Schedule to assess the nature and prevalence of intrusions in nonclinical populations (777 university students at 15 sites in 13 countries across six continents).

The researchers found that nearly all participants (93.6 percent) reported experiencing at least one intrusion during the previous three months. The most commonly reported category of intrusive thoughts were doubting intrusions, whereas repugnant intrusions (e.g., sexual, blasphemous, etc.) were least commonly reported.

"Consistent with cognitive theory, our view is that it is not the intrusion that is the problem, but the ways that we interpret and try to control it that determine whether it will become problematic, more frequent, more distressing over time," the authors write.

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