krayolablue91 asked:

Would you happen to know the difference - or if there is a difference- between obsessive [compulsive] neurosis and OCD? Or is it that OCD falls under the category of obsessive neurosis?

I’ve never heard the neurosis term applied to OCD in any official diagnostic way. That’s kind of a remnant term of psychodynamic theory which isn’t as common as it once was (but does make appearances, such as neuroticism in the Big Five). Though it used to be somewhat of a catch-all term for anxiety, so it certainly makes sense that people might throw it in with OCD symptoms.

All this is to say that I don’t believe obsessive compulsive neurosis is any formal/established descriptor or diagnostic entity, but it might just be something that some crowds within psychology toss around. My guess is that, if anything, it would just be an interchangeable term with OCD rather than a category which contains OCD under it.

Just a hunch, though! If anyone else knows anything, please do point it out.

Anonymous asked:

My sister has a spider phobia that has recently become out of control after she moved into a new basement suite that has a healthy spider population. I've showed her all of your posts about how avoidance behaviors can perpetuate anxiety but she says her problem is that she knows spiders are harmless but still is greatly afraid of them touching her, thus exposure will not help her rationalize that they are not dangerous. Do you still think exposure could benefit her?

I’m not really in a place to give specific therapeutic advice, but I can speak broadly about individuals with phobias.

Typically, based on the way we conceptualize phobias, most individuals with the diagnosis understand that their fear is disproportionate to the actual danger posed by the feared stimulus. As per the DSM-5:

"individuals with specific phobia often recognize their reactions as disproportionate"

So for example, most individuals with a blood/injection phobia who see a syringe sitting on the table can objectively acknowledge that they aren’t going to die just from looking at it (nor is it remotely likely that they would die if injected). And yet they still have an intense physiological reaction to it. And even in response to that physiological reaction they can often rationally say “Yes, this fear is significantly higher than the actual level of threat that is being posed.”

Outside of a hospital, individuals with these phobias may be able to acknowledge their fear is “a bit silly” (in the words of one of my clients who had a blood/injection phobia), but get them in a room with a needle and talk about receiving an injection and the entire game changes. As such, if I were your sister’s therapist, I’d be curious to know what is going on in her mind when there is a spider in the room? Because we can talk about how harmless a spider is when there is no spider nearby, and yet something seems to change when the spider is present - what is it? What is her mind telling her? If her mind were truly convinced nothing bad were to happen, then what is that fear all about?

For such individuals, despite some part of them acknowledging that the probability of harm is low, there is still some part of them that has been conditioned to fear the phobic stimulus. That part of them, the part that still automatically responds with fear/terror/intense physiological reactions, is the part that is being targeted for therapy. That is the part that exposure therapy targets. “Recorrecting” the automatically learned fear response.

This is why cognitive therapy in the absence of behavioral therapy is arguably useless. Because you can do cognitive therapy for phobias and get a person to understand that their fear is objectively or logically “wrong,” but so long as some part of them is still unable to be in a room with one without having a panic attack-esque response, then there is still progress that can be made. Therapy within the context under which distress occurs is arguably necessary for optimal results.

Ultimately: I cannot tell you whether exposure would benefit your sister because I don’t know your sister, and I don’t know if there are certain variables in her life that somehow exclude her from receiving exposure. There aren’t many variables that might exclude such a treatment, but of course there are some (e.g., suicidality). As such, I cannot tell you what she is capable of, and thus I would consider she see a professional who can.

Anonymous asked:

How hard was grad school im not exactly the "smartest person" and sometimes dont test well should i still do it? what if i cant do it, i dont want to fail miserably?

otstudent:

If you can get IN to grad school, you can get THROUGH grad school.

My advice for getting into grad school is some Yoda shit - do or do not, there is no try. I take that to mean this: you can try and fail but that means you did not get in. So keep trying until you do, if you know this is what you want. And then maybe, just maybe, you’ll lift the spaceship out of the swamp.

I sort of disagree with the first statement, though I imagine it depends on the graduate program. Thus, I’ll speak solely in regards to clinical psychology (which may not be included in what you were addressing at all!)

But, extrapolating grad school performance based on undergraduate/other graduate program performance is not perfect, and I think most any graduate program will tell you that. Hence why dropouts exist, and why a good proportion of graduate students will fail out (not the majority, I don’t think, but enough to suggest that not everyone who gets in is capable of staying in). I know some incredibly bright folks who just couldn’t handle it, people who were in top tier PhD programs. One person specifically has [forcibly] transferred twice now between three institutions, the first two being very, very reputable.

I agree with everything else you said: just bust ass until you get what you want. The road is not straight and narrow for everyone, and sometimes it takes additional work/effort/years to get to the same place as others. If it’s what you want, just keep getting involved in everything you can that will increase your odds of getting it.

(But again, I’m responding specifically to clinical psychology, so that may not be at all what you were referring to as I am not oblivious to the name of your blog! I just wasn’t sure if you were talking about all of graduate school or just the type of program you are working in.)

scienceofeds:

[cut earlier convo]
cognitivedefusion:

Just that it would decrease the likelihood of it snowballing into an avalanche, as is characteristic of GAD given that the level of worry is pretty remarkable. A client of mine from a little over a year ago who had textbook GAD quoted Anchorman, “Well, that escalated quickly” to describe it (which I greatly appreciated).
But again, this is just an idea, and maybe not one that captures everyone with GAD. The premise is that if individuals with GAD could slow their thoughts a bit before they get to the most catastrophized end-point, there could be at least some reduction in anxiety, or at least some perceived ability to act sooner within the feared timeline rather than feel powerless against the ultimate catastrophized fear.
Before “I feel sick” turns to “I’m going to have to call in sick and then I’ll get fired on the spot and I’ll undoubtedly lose my apartment because I can’t pay the rent and so I’ll have to move back home and my friends won’t want to hang out with a job-less loser and no one will love me,” they can intervene sooner and realize it won’t get to the point of no one loving them (e.g., “if I call work and tell them I am sick, am I really going to lose my job on the spot? Maybe I can explain the situation and offer to come in and see what they say, because the worst case scenario is I go in and they see that I’m actually sick and then they’ll probably just send me home”).
That sort of thing.

Yeah, but what you mention in your third paragraph: to me that’s just talking through it but slowly. 

But why or how are they able to talk through it slowly? It’s not that a complete absence of verbal thoughts is being suggested, but that the presence of mental images facilitates an ability to think through it slower and thus “intervene” before the ultimate feared outcome is reached. Because, for people with GAD, once it gets to that point, there’s a pervasive feeling of powerlessness because that outcome is often perceived or felt as being inevitable (even if individuals can “objectively” determine that’s not the case, there’s still that anxious feeling).
Again, just a hypothesis. I’m not even trying to defend it, just making sure we’re all on the same page about what Borkovec is proposing.

scienceofeds:

[cut earlier convo]

cognitivedefusion:

Just that it would decrease the likelihood of it snowballing into an avalanche, as is characteristic of GAD given that the level of worry is pretty remarkable. A client of mine from a little over a year ago who had textbook GAD quoted Anchorman, “Well, that escalated quickly” to describe it (which I greatly appreciated).

But again, this is just an idea, and maybe not one that captures everyone with GAD. The premise is that if individuals with GAD could slow their thoughts a bit before they get to the most catastrophized end-point, there could be at least some reduction in anxiety, or at least some perceived ability to act sooner within the feared timeline rather than feel powerless against the ultimate catastrophized fear.

Before “I feel sick” turns to “I’m going to have to call in sick and then I’ll get fired on the spot and I’ll undoubtedly lose my apartment because I can’t pay the rent and so I’ll have to move back home and my friends won’t want to hang out with a job-less loser and no one will love me,” they can intervene sooner and realize it won’t get to the point of no one loving them (e.g., “if I call work and tell them I am sick, am I really going to lose my job on the spot? Maybe I can explain the situation and offer to come in and see what they say, because the worst case scenario is I go in and they see that I’m actually sick and then they’ll probably just send me home”).

That sort of thing.

Yeah, but what you mention in your third paragraph: to me that’s just talking through it but slowly

But why or how are they able to talk through it slowly? It’s not that a complete absence of verbal thoughts is being suggested, but that the presence of mental images facilitates an ability to think through it slower and thus “intervene” before the ultimate feared outcome is reached. Because, for people with GAD, once it gets to that point, there’s a pervasive feeling of powerlessness because that outcome is often perceived or felt as being inevitable (even if individuals can “objectively” determine that’s not the case, there’s still that anxious feeling).

Again, just a hypothesis. I’m not even trying to defend it, just making sure we’re all on the same page about what Borkovec is proposing.

scienceofeds:

cognitivedefusion:

scienceofeds:


Behar, E., DiMarco, I. D., Hekler, E. B., Mohlman, J., & Staples, A. M. (2009). Current theoretical models of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD): Conceptual review and treatment implications. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 23, 1011-1023.

This is so hard for me to believe, for some reason. Why would thinking verbally move faster than thinking through imagery? (I know I should just read the paper. I might actually do that, hah.)

Think of it this way: in your head, describe your bedroom with words. It’s likely you’ll move through each characteristic quickly because you need to get to the next part. Bed, paint, mirror, dresser, whatever. One thing to the next, and so because you are going part-by-part you get less time to devote to each part.
Or, imagine your bedroom as an image. This way you can visually see everything, so you are not jumping from one part to the next. You can sit with each piece (in unison) for longer. You don’t have to think of one part and then the next and so on, but you can see the bed, paint, mirror, dresser, etc. all as one unit.
Does that make any more sense? The main thing is that, with images, it’s easier to spot where the line of thinking starts to get unrealistic, and so the worry slows at that point. In words, it is tougher to see that, and so it keeps going and snowballs.
(Also note that it’s only a hypothesis - the researcher’s name is Borkovec.)

I guess… isn’t the underlying assumption of all of that is that if you were to see the irrationality of it, you would decrease the anxiety? Is that actually the case?

Just that it would decrease the likelihood of it snowballing into an avalanche, as is characteristic of GAD given that the level of worry is pretty remarkable. A client of mine from a little over a year ago who had textbook GAD quoted Anchorman, “Well, that escalated quickly” to describe it (which I greatly appreciated).
But again, this is just an idea, and maybe not one that captures everyone with GAD. The premise is that if individuals with GAD could slow their thoughts a bit before they get to the most catastrophized end-point, there could be at least some reduction in anxiety, or at least some perceived ability to act sooner within the feared timeline rather than feel powerless against the ultimate catastrophized fear.
Before “I feel sick” turns to “I’m going to have to call in sick and then I’ll get fired on the spot and I’ll undoubtedly lose my apartment because I can’t pay the rent and so I’ll have to move back home and my friends won’t want to hang out with a job-less loser and no one will love me,” they can intervene sooner and realize it won’t get to the point of no one loving them (e.g., “if I call work and tell them I am sick, am I really going to lose my job on the spot? Maybe I can explain the situation and offer to come in and see what they say, because the worst case scenario is I go in and they see that I’m actually sick and then they’ll probably just send me home”).
That sort of thing.

scienceofeds:

cognitivedefusion:

scienceofeds:

Behar, E., DiMarco, I. D., Hekler, E. B., Mohlman, J., & Staples, A. M. (2009). Current theoretical models of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD): Conceptual review and treatment implications. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 23, 1011-1023.

This is so hard for me to believe, for some reason. Why would thinking verbally move faster than thinking through imagery? (I know I should just read the paper. I might actually do that, hah.)

Think of it this way: in your head, describe your bedroom with words. It’s likely you’ll move through each characteristic quickly because you need to get to the next part. Bed, paint, mirror, dresser, whatever. One thing to the next, and so because you are going part-by-part you get less time to devote to each part.

Or, imagine your bedroom as an image. This way you can visually see everything, so you are not jumping from one part to the next. You can sit with each piece (in unison) for longer. You don’t have to think of one part and then the next and so on, but you can see the bed, paint, mirror, dresser, etc. all as one unit.

Does that make any more sense? The main thing is that, with images, it’s easier to spot where the line of thinking starts to get unrealistic, and so the worry slows at that point. In words, it is tougher to see that, and so it keeps going and snowballs.

(Also note that it’s only a hypothesis - the researcher’s name is Borkovec.)

I guess… isn’t the underlying assumption of all of that is that if you were to see the irrationality of it, you would decrease the anxiety? Is that actually the case?

Just that it would decrease the likelihood of it snowballing into an avalanche, as is characteristic of GAD given that the level of worry is pretty remarkable. A client of mine from a little over a year ago who had textbook GAD quoted Anchorman, “Well, that escalated quickly” to describe it (which I greatly appreciated).

But again, this is just an idea, and maybe not one that captures everyone with GAD. The premise is that if individuals with GAD could slow their thoughts a bit before they get to the most catastrophized end-point, there could be at least some reduction in anxiety, or at least some perceived ability to act sooner within the feared timeline rather than feel powerless against the ultimate catastrophized fear.

Before “I feel sick” turns to “I’m going to have to call in sick and then I’ll get fired on the spot and I’ll undoubtedly lose my apartment because I can’t pay the rent and so I’ll have to move back home and my friends won’t want to hang out with a job-less loser and no one will love me,” they can intervene sooner and realize it won’t get to the point of no one loving them (e.g., “if I call work and tell them I am sick, am I really going to lose my job on the spot? Maybe I can explain the situation and offer to come in and see what they say, because the worst case scenario is I go in and they see that I’m actually sick and then they’ll probably just send me home”).

That sort of thing.

scienceofeds:


Behar, E., DiMarco, I. D., Hekler, E. B., Mohlman, J., & Staples, A. M. (2009). Current theoretical models of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD): Conceptual review and treatment implications. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 23, 1011-1023.

This is so hard for me to believe, for some reason. Why would thinking verbally move faster than thinking through imagery? (I know I should just read the paper. I might actually do that, hah.)

Think of it this way: in your head, describe your bedroom with words. It’s likely you’ll move through each characteristic quickly because you need to get to the next part. Bed, paint, mirror, dresser, whatever. One thing to the next, and so because you are going part-by-part you get less time to devote to each part.
Or, imagine your bedroom as an image. This way you can visually see everything, so you are not jumping from one part to the next. You can sit with each piece (in unison) for longer. You don’t have to think of one part and then the next and so on, but you can see the bed, paint, mirror, dresser, etc. all as one unit.
Does that make any more sense? The main thing is that, with images, it’s easier to spot where the line of thinking starts to get unrealistic, and so the worry slows at that point. In words, it is tougher to see that, and so it keeps going and snowballs.
(Also note that it’s only a hypothesis - the researcher’s name is Borkovec.)

scienceofeds:

Behar, E., DiMarco, I. D., Hekler, E. B., Mohlman, J., & Staples, A. M. (2009). Current theoretical models of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD): Conceptual review and treatment implications. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 23, 1011-1023.

This is so hard for me to believe, for some reason. Why would thinking verbally move faster than thinking through imagery? (I know I should just read the paper. I might actually do that, hah.)

Think of it this way: in your head, describe your bedroom with words. It’s likely you’ll move through each characteristic quickly because you need to get to the next part. Bed, paint, mirror, dresser, whatever. One thing to the next, and so because you are going part-by-part you get less time to devote to each part.

Or, imagine your bedroom as an image. This way you can visually see everything, so you are not jumping from one part to the next. You can sit with each piece (in unison) for longer. You don’t have to think of one part and then the next and so on, but you can see the bed, paint, mirror, dresser, etc. all as one unit.

Does that make any more sense? The main thing is that, with images, it’s easier to spot where the line of thinking starts to get unrealistic, and so the worry slows at that point. In words, it is tougher to see that, and so it keeps going and snowballs.

(Also note that it’s only a hypothesis - the researcher’s name is Borkovec.)

Anonymous asked:

Is it possible to be interested in more than 1 field when applying to grad school? E.g., I'm interested in BOTH eating and anxiety disorders, but it seems like I'd have to sacrifice one for the other!

It sometimes depends on the school. Generally you are applying to a single adviser who you will do research with, but I haven’t heard of any programs that aren’t okay with you jumping onto projects with other faculty.

Meaning: if you find a program that has faculty doing both anxiety and eating disorders, there’s a good chance you can work with both (depending on the institution, of course, so double check with them on that).

Fortunately, many believe there is some strong overlap between general anxiety pathology and general eating disorder pathology. I am not as well-versed on eating disorders (maybe scienceofeds has greater insight on this particular angle), but from everything I’ve read concerning this concept, there seems to be some shared pathology in how anxiety functions and how eating disorders function.

Hope that helps a little bit!

Anonymous asked:

have you ever heard of something called neurodiversity? i'm confused it says mental illness is part of natural genetic mutations, but i don't really understand how that would work in regards to treatment?

I’ve heard the term applied within the autism community, but that’s about it. I don’t really know much beyond that. I think the premise that all mental disorders are part of natural genetic mutations, however, would be a bit premature to suggest (if that is truly what is meant by neurodiversity).