We shall now follow the same process of rationalization for ROCD Type 2. Remember once again, that this rationalization exercise is to be carried out only in the non-triggered state, preferably with the help of your partner. Let us look at the example (numbered B, typed in red color in the MS Excel workbook) in the Anxiety Hierarchy Worksheet (Worksheet 15). The trigger is not getting a text from your partner immediately after you have sent one. The compulsion is to lash out at the partner and attempting to change partner behavior, making the partner feel constrained and trapped. Let us look to rationalize this thought using the five steps.
Step One: Rationalization of the Compulsion: This step can be taken only in the non-triggered state. Particularly for this compulsion of lashing out at the partner, the rationalization may look as shown below.
- Why do I need to lash out at my partner? – Because I think my partner needs to respond to my texts immediately and the way I want her to.
- What does it mean to me if my partner doesn’t do that? – If my partner doesn’t do that, it probably means she is with someone else and happy without me.
- Is that the only explanation? – No but my mind tells me so.
- Should I believe what Kay tells me or should I go with what I know for sure otherwise? – I should go with what I know.
- Is lashing out at my partner working well for our relationship? – No, it isn’t.
Here, the compulsion of lashing out at the partner may be to ensure that your partner is happy with you and is not looking out for any other relationship. This would be the core fear here. However, such lashing out at your partner will only result in making your partner go farther away from you. So, lashing out at the partner does not help.
Step Two: Mindful Acceptance of ROCD: Acknowledge the following:
- I have ROCD and that these thoughts are bound to be there. Accepting my ROCD diagnosis will not surprise me or shock me or disappoint me every time I have these thoughts.
- These thoughts are bound to feel real. I accept this as well.
Step Three: Distancing from the Obsession: This step can be followed in the triggered state. You can distance yourself from the episode by reminding yourself of the following:
- This is Kay’s deviousness at work. Kay is asking me to give meaning to the obsession and to look for compulsions to do.
- Kay always lies to me and is only interested in making my life miserable, so I will not listen to Kay.
Step Four: Distancing from the Compulsion: This step can be followed in the triggered state. The obsession was given by Kay and the suggestion to deal with the obsession to relieve the anxiety – that is the suggestion for doing the compulsions is also given by Kay. Acknowledge that you again choose to not listen to Kay and will not do the compulsion.
Step Five: Formulating the Response Prevention Script: This step can be followed in the triggered state. The response prevention script for this compulsion can be as shown below.
- If I do not lash out at my partner and anything goes wrong as a result, that is, I realize later that my partner is happy with someone else without me, I will handle it then. I will not dwell on it now.
Additional Resource 7 includes the rationalization of all compulsions identified earlier. Browse through it and specific to your ROCD fill in Worksheet 16.
This concludes the section here. The next section is the final battle with ROCD.
Refer to AR7 – rationalization of compulsions
Rationalize your compulsions in WS16