Pathological vs Normal Doubts Part II

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Intolerance of uncertainty:

People with pathological doubts demand a higher level of certainty but infect they can’t achieve. Even if they have a slight uncertainty, they can’t control and have to check and ensure. For them, even a minuscule amount of uncertainty is intolerable. They have to ensure that even after getting a slight ray of uncertainty. 

For example: if asked whether you are certain that you completely turned off a water faucet before leaving for work, you might be 97% certain and able to accept the other 3% of uncertainty. The individual with pathological doubt cannot accept 97% certainty but strives for absolute certainty. This drive for total certainty forces the doubter to check or to excessively seeking reassurance that the water faucet is completely off because even a minuscule amount of uncertainty is intolerable.

Maladaptive Beliefs:  

It is found that the beliefs of people with pathological doubts have stronger beliefs than normal people. These fears and beliefs of happening something wrong are more rigid than the contradictory evidence. We normal people have a doubt of something, and there is also a possibility of something wrong happening, they can make themselves understand that nothing will happen, But people with pathological doubts can’t handle this. If they think that something can happen, so for them it will happen a hundred percent. So it creates anxiety, and they have to ensure by checking. 

For the example stated above  “Did I leave the dryer door open so the cat could jump in and die if the dryer mysteriously started to spin on its own?”. They think that they have left the dryer door open and the cat will jump in and die. There is no chance that it will not happen. So they have a great fear of it and it makes them want to check it and ensure.

Search for completeness:

Pathological doubts may create a strong desire to achieve full wholeness or a feeling of just the right things rather than a normal doubt.  If he feels that something wrong can happen because something is not complete, he has doubts and to avoid that, he will check again and again. Studies show that there is a vast connection between sensory of completeness and regular checking. So, people with pathological doubt have an internal feeling to get the completeness in order to win their struggle of doubts. 

For example, if a person thinks that he forgets to switch off the light. So, he switches off the light and locks the door. After that, he can get the feeling that he might not have switched off the light. So he cuts off the light from the main switch. Sometimes, he puts off the button. So, he mainly wants to achieve a kind of completeness. 

Idiosyncratic Content:

Pathological doubt may involve more idiosyncratic themes than normal doubt. The international study on normal intrusive thoughts found that doubt in the nonclinical population focused on everyday activities like “Did I lock the door?”; “Did I unplug a heating device?”;  “Did I turn off the stove?”; and so on. However, in OCD the primary doubt often focuses on more idiosyncratic issues that are unique to the obsessional concerns of the individual. Even when the doubt is about ordinary activities, like locking the door, the person with OCD has a more idiosyncratic way of thinking. There is a tendency to experience:

(1) even more, doubt about an initial conclusion when faced with alternative possibilities generated by others. 

(2) an over-reliance on external proxies or rules because of a reduced sense of subjective conviction or a feeling of knowing. Thus, pathological doubt, even when about mundane affairs, is often experientially more bizarre than normal doubt.

For example: One person thinks that he should start with a particular foot while climbing up the stairs. Halfway down, he doubted that he might not start with the right foot. He, then, walks down and begins again. Now, this is not a rule that we should start with a particular foot but he had made his own rules. That is a common thing in OCD.

From this comparison between normal doubt and pathological doubt, one can clarify if he has OCD or not. From this comparison of pathological and normal doubt, it is evident how the person with OCD can become “stuck in doubt.” A tendency to base inferences on harm-related possibilities, a distrust in memory, a weak sense of subjective conviction, an unrealistic threshold of acceptable certainty, and a strong desire for completeness will together conspire toward more intense, persistent, and unresolved doubt.

This is how you can understand if you have OCD or not. This type of doubts lie under the Compulsive checking of OCD. If you find that you have OCD, we can cure you. Here down id written how can you come out of OCD? 

Treatment of OCD:

To treat OCD, there is a combination approach of medication and psychotherapy (Commonly known as counselling.) Both are equally important in medicine.

The medicines used to treat OCD are called SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors). The treatments are used to balance the lack of serotonin. This process is long and takes about a year to recover fully.

The other aspect of the treatment is psychotherapy. There are multiple sessions with the patient, and the therapist takes him through mental challenges. In these sessions, the patient is asked to do the things that create obsessive thoughts. Then the patient has to control the compulsion. This process makes the patient think the obsessions are not harmful. This is called Exposure Response Prevention Therapy or ERP.

There are other techniques also. One of them is called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT. The patients are taught to identify negative thinking causes and replace them with positive habits with their assertive behaviour.


It is the best option to win the battle with OCD in the present scenario. In this option, you are provided online counselling by our experts. In this online session, the experts listen to your problems, analyze the situation, and give the phone solution. We make you think, and we tell you the facts so that your disorder will go away. If you want to have an online session with our experts, you can contact us.

We give counselling for anxiety, Phobia, Panic attacks, OCD, Depression, etc.…. You can take counselling sessions on parenting and relationships also.

For any query, you can contact us on:

9468307000, 7494869711, 8053770007

Thank You for Reading.

Written By Shyam Sunder(The Rest Frame)

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