Name: Josephine Narcisse Class : writing 303 Prof: Corcoran The difference between intrusive thoughts and obsessive compulsive thoughts. AbstractUnwanted thoughts are the irrelevant thoughts that occurs in our minds involuntary. The unpleasant nature of these thoughts can lead to psychological dysfunction and sometimes to medical dysfunction. In this paper, I want to investigate one’s ability to control unwanted thoughts, by searching of several experiments from psychologists and other professionals to determine the finding of this mysterious topic. In this paper, I want to look into the origin and biology of thinking and will try to determine how one’s possess the ability to control his or her own thoughts when the thoughts are unwanted; and some people are unable to control their intrusive thoughts. Many psychologists have suggested a connection between obsessive- compulsive disorder (OCD) to maladjusted ways for one to control his or her own thoughts, which sometimes can increase the pressure and stress level accompanied with the unwanted thoughts because people who continuously recall unwanted thoughts share the same characteristic with a person who is diagnosed with (OCD); which is, they both underestimate the essentialness of their unwanted thoughts.IntroductionA thought is “An idea or opinion produced by thinking or occurring suddenly inthe mind”. it is certain that most of the population not to generalize, wantsto have control over their thoughts; however, it is not quite simple to do so.In order to comprehend the connection between the minds and our thoughts. An indepth focus and elaboration is necessary. Humans being possess a very large anddeveloped outer brain also called the cerebral cortex and its role is toprovide fantastic memory to human species, “it also provides great cognitiveskills and the ability to experience complex emotions”. The outer brainallows us to cope with certain strategies by recalling past memories, it alsoallows us to think about cognitive ways to avoid situation that can scares us.Our brain persistently rotates our thoughts, whether its voluntary orinvoluntary. Regardless of the rigorous determination that people put intodeleting unwanted thoughts, or suppressing them one way or another. they feed acycle of rumination and emerging the cause of depression. This research paperwill focus on how some brains are capable to control their thoughts and forsome, it’s extremely difficult to accomplish the same. And also the paper willfocus on the comparison of OCD diagnosis and regular intrusive thoughts thatare sometimes misdiagnosed with OCD.Body of the paperThe prefrontal cortex, which is considered as the area of the brain, responsiblefor handling thoughts. The prefrontal is responsible for memory as well, whichis the reason why human beings are allowed to retain some memories for a verylong time and these memories will later on convert into intrusive thoughts;because they didn’t come from good experiences. One of many experimentconducted by some psychologist was a task called “Think/no-Think procedure”where participants were asked to remember multiple paired but unassociatedwords. They were presented with either a green light or a red signal.Participants were instructed to recall the paired words when they saw the greenlight and to stop recalling them when the red signal appears. The purpose ofthat experiment was to analyze the participants brain with the combination ofFMRI and magnetic resonance spectroscopy because it measures the chemicalchanges in one’s brain, also to analyze the capacity of one to retaininformation that were presented to them early in the experiment.” The resultsof the experiment demonstrate that “concentrations of the neurotransmitter GABAin the hippocampus, a brain area central to memory, made all the difference asto whether someone was able to manage the unwanted thoughts frommaterializing.” GABA plays an enormous role on how effectively we are capableto eliminate our unwanted thoughts. GABA is an “inhibitory neurotransmitterthat maintains balance in the brain by decreasing activity in neurons triggeredby excitatory neurotransmitters. And neurotransmitters are very essentialbecause it deduce the role of inhibitory neurons and permit us to stop unwantedthoughts”. The experiment concludes with the idea that the improvement of GABAactivity within the hippocampus can help with stopping unwanted thoughts fromoccurring; however, the improvement can occur only if the GABA is experiencinghigh stress level and anxiety. “GABAergic inhibition of the Hippocampalretrieval activity forms a key link in a fronto- hippocampal inhibitory controlpathway underlying thought suppression. Subjects viewed reminders of unwantedthoughts and tried to suppress retrieval while being scanned with functionalmagnetic resonance imaging. Suppression reduced hippocampal activity and memoryfor suppressed content. “Magnetic resonance spectroscopy revealed that greaterresting concentrations of hippocampal GABA predicted better mnemonic control.Higher hippocampal, but not prefrontal GABA, predicted stronger frontohippocampal coupling during suppression, suggesting that interneurons local tothe hippocampus implement control over intrusive thoughts”. Stopping actions donot engage this pathway. “These findings specify a multi-level mechanisticmodel of how the content of awareness is voluntarily controlled.” Many people try to suppress their thoughts in response to control their thoughts;furthermore, they adapt other techniques to compromise most of their intrusivethoughts. The sole reason why people so far suppress their thoughts is toeliminate the guilt of wronged doing and judgment from other people aroundthem. Irrational and unacceptable thoughts are often misdiagnosed with OCDbecause it seems to that specific person that not accepting these thoughts is asign of perfection needing. When a person is bombarded with inappropriatethoughts that are not classify in the norms, and can closely fit in thecategory of abnormal; it can be defined as OCD otherwise these thoughts arejust normal thoughts that just occurs in everyday life to “regular” people.There is a difference between regular intrusive thoughts and obsessivecompulsive disorder criteria. Hence, intrusive thoughts can be the commencementof OCD but it’s not vice versa. After many experiment conducted by researchersto bring light to this issue, the results remain neutral to why some people arecapable of suppressing their thoughts and some people find the difficulty ontemporarily stop thinking about the unwanted thoughts.”Thought suppression is not an ideal way to control unwanted thoughts because theemotions will have vanished in the process of removing these thoughts the wrongway”. because the process of removing these thought is non effective due to thefact that our brains do not permit us to decide the ideal thought that we wantto keep in our minds and which ones we want to delete. Studies have shown thatthat” thought suppression is not an ideal mental control strategy as itironically increases accessibility and intrusions of the unwanted thoughtsduring and after thoughts suppression” (Clark & Purdon,2009;Hooper,Sandoz,Ashton,Clarke& McHugh,2012;Wegner & Erber,1992) although we know that thought suppression can help in some sort and helpcertain people, however, it cannot be effective to every single candidatesbecause not everybody has the capability of suppressing their thoughts and feela normal reaction. Sometimes thought suppression can lead to depression becausethought suppression is the process of one forcing him or herself to forgetsomething, furthermore, in reality, that idea or thought is all they canactually think about. Thought suppression techniques is marked as verybeneficial to people who are diagnosed with OCD because it permits them tocontrol the maintenance of the disorder “The primary function of theintentional process is to orient individuals toward distractors that directattention away from the unwanted thought” (Wegner,1994). According to Wegner(1994). Researchers have spent a large amount of time to analyze the need ofthought suppression and have discovered an instrument named white BearSuppression Inventory (WBSI) the role of this instrument to the measure peopletendency to suppress their negative thoughts; it doesn’t focus on the need tochange them or replace these thoughts with positive thoughts. It also measuresone’s inability to disregard these intrusive thoughts. The researchers also usethe thought control questionnaire(TCO) to access and calculate the strategiesto accomplish thoughts suppression, the first strategy was distraction; be ableto distract the person by helping him or her by occupying their time by doingsomething productive or even thinking about something pleasurable. The secondstrategy is social control; which is the method of expressing and sharing thesethoughts with surroundings and other people with similar experience to betterunderstand the insight of the situation. The third strategy is worry, it may seempreposterous and contradictory to adding less burden to oneself butforcing yourself to worry about something else can help with the reduction ofthe unwanted thoughts. The fourth strategy is punishment; which is the methodof getting indignant with oneself and can also be a coping strategy to dealwith the idea of wronged doing. And the last strategy is reappraisal;reappraisal can be very difficult because the person has to determine how validthese thoughts are to them confront the logic of these thoughts. Although, weare conscious that not all these five strategies can be beneficial neithermaladaptive. Furthermore; researchers have concluded that people who suffersfrom OCD experience more the punishment and worry strategies due to the factthat they are not control which can lead to GAD by definition is excessiveworry; which we are going to be focused on too much. The distractors serve as the alternatives to switch one’s thoughts to differentdirection and that can allow the escape of the unwanted thoughts. The cruelthing about distractors is that you still have to think about something else.and sometimes the more someone try to avoid a thought, the more it become moredifficult to escape it.” Ironic effects occur because the monitoring systembrings the unwanted thought back into awareness whenever the intentional systemfails to find a distracter”. Like stated in the quote, when people fails tofind a distractor to satisfy the need to transform their thoughts intosomething else, it becomes more problematic because the only goal is to replacethat thought with another one which requires a lot of energy and timeconsuming. Researchers have stated that a distractor is a must when consideringsuppression of thoughts because it allows the person to think about otheralternatives, allows them the time to think sometimes about a solution to theproblem; furthermore, a distractor is not always helpful. And “one reason whythe intentional system fails to generate distractors is because by default, theintentional system searches for a relatively large number of distractors duringthought suppression operations” (Ju & Lien,2016). Statistically, people whoare experiencing problems and carry the burden of unwanted thoughts in theirminds most hours of the days are not excellent at multitasking. Therefore, apile of other alternatives wouldn’t be an effective method to that specificperson. Accordingly, researchers have examined “the utility of focuseddistraction strategies that focus attention on a single distractor in reducingironic effects.” (Harvey & Payne,2002; Mikulincer, Dolev, & Shaver,2004; Watson & Purdon,2008). Many observed patients tend to lose controlof their thoughts by searching alternatives to replace their intrusivethoughts. However, many researchers stated that it is more advantageous tofocus in one alternatives. The goal is to find one alternative that fit themoment, an alternative that doesn’t require an excessive amount of time andfocus on it because by looking for more than one alternative, can cause the personto return to the same unwanted thought. This study from Wegener’sconcludes that focused distractors are more effective in suppression ofunwanted thoughts because the mind is focused in one thing; hence, it is moreintense and people tend to relapse and return to the original unwanted thoughtsthat they were avoiding in the first place.Most studies compared OCD patients with a person who is trying to gain control overtheir unwanted thoughts because a person who is diagnosed with OCD have thetendency to evaluate their thoughts and try to control them. The key word hereis control. Being able to take control on everything that concerned them. Theconstruct of thought action is also one example of this outcome. Thedetermination and differences between a person who is diagnosed with OCD and aperson trying to control his or her own is that OCD person is aiming forperfection, which is the contradiction of the other case. “Although OCD affectsapproximately 2% of adults (Kessler et al. 2005), research demonstrates that80-99% of people in the general population experience unwanted intrusive thatare similar in content to clinical obsessions, focusing on themes such asviolence, contamination, and doubt” ( Belloch et al.2004; Clark and de Silva1985; Rachman and de Silva 1978. Radomsky et al. 2014; Salkovskis and Harrison1984) the non-existent force to remain the controller of our thoughts hasbecoming a delicate assumption that some people acquire more intelligence inorder to demonstrate the capacity of suppressing their unwanted thoughts andothers are just incapable of doing the same no matter of endeavor and work putin to achieve the common goal of removing certain thoughts or even control them.”Although we are aware that OCD is individuate by the attendance of constant unwanted andintrusive thoughts, images and impulses. Hence, an important amount ofexperimental research has studied the paradoxical and counterproductive effectsof intentional thought suppression, defined as an effort not to think about aparticular thought.” ( Wegner, Schneider,Carter & white,1987).It is absurd to think that people can be in control of their own thoughts. Manyresearchers conclude that most people have negative thought because they areextremely judgmental of themselves; therefore, these critics can remain intheir minds for a long period of time. In order to change these thinking,perhaps, even trying to control them would acquire enormous change on theirself-reflection and how they perceive their mistakes which usually convert intointrusive thoughts. Our brain has the power to continuously recall theintrusive thoughts that people try to hide in a box. In the previous paragraph,i mentioned how most people use thought suppression technique to avoid thinkingabout a particular thing, which permits them to think about other alternativesand forces their brains to escape certain thoughts. Our thinking has a lot todo with memory whether its semantic memory or episodic memory. People identifymemories as self-identities, memory is what define them as a human being andwhat makes them who they are character wise. One of most interesting experiment that was done was joint attention interventionfor children who are diagnosed with autism and their parents diagnosed withOCD. in this experiment, participants were asked to focus on one object andalso focus on the interventions of their parents. As we all aware of autismchildren have a hard time focusing on one thing; they are accompanied withparents who are diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder is what makes theexperiment harder because an OCD person is very focused and always aiming forperfection while an Autism child is battling to stay focus. After theexperiment, parent who were diagnosed with autism reported going home thinkingabout ways for their children to stay focus on the play while parents who werenot diagnosed with OCD was having a joyful time by letting them the chance tolearn without the persistent thought of making them perfect of the taskassigned to them.Memory is a combination of what actually happen with the person experience, knowledgeand expectations. Expectations within themselves and expectations from others.Intrusive thoughts are more like an obsession to eliminate an unwanted ideathan a disease because the focus is not to cure the mental disturbances that are caused by the unwanted thought, the desired result is the ability to control what is sometimes uncontrollable and by achieving that can give the person a sense of being in control of their own thoughts . There are not enough direct comparisons that exist to differentiate them which is makes it so hard to decide the possibility of the misdiagnosis to be reevaluated.Conclusion In conclusion, there are several criteria that differentiate regular intrusive thoughts and obsessive compulsive thoughts and the determination ReferencesNajmi, S., Reese, H., Wilhelm, S., Fama, J., Beck, C., & Wegner, D. M. (2010). Learning the futility of the thought suppression enterprise in normal experience and in obsessive compulsive disorder. Behavioural And Cognitive Psychotherapy, 38(1), 1-14.Jacoby, R. J., Leonard, R. C., Riemann, B. C., & Abramowitz, J. S. (2016). Self-punishment as a maladaptive thought control strategy mediates the relationship between beliefs about thoughts and repugnant obsessions. Cognitive Therapy And Research, 40(2), 179-187.Wang, D., Chatzisarantis, N. D., & Hagger, M. S. (2017). 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