Rewire Your Ocd Brain Book Summary - Rewire Your Ocd Brain Book explained in key points
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Rewire Your Ocd Brain summary

Catherine M. Pittman William H. Youngs

Powerful Neuroscience-Based Skills to Break Free from Obsessive Thoughts and Fears

4.6 (404 ratings)
20 mins

Brief summary

Rewire Your OCD Brain by Catherine M. Pittman and William H. Youngs is a practical guide that helps readers understand the brain's mechanics behind OCD while offering evidence-based strategies to manage or reduce its symptoms.

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    Rewire Your Ocd Brain
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    Worries, anxieties, and obsessions

    What qualifies as an obsessive thought? To answer this, it’s important to first make the distinction among worries, anxieties, and the thoughts that come to dominate a person’s life.

    When you worry, you’re thinking about what could go wrong. Unlike an obsessive thought, this changes from time to time, depending on the circumstances or the day. In this situation you move on once you get a result.

    Anxieties tend to hang around longer, but usually also dissipate with time.

    Obsessions, though, simply don’t go away. Let’s say you just had an interview for a job. You keep thinking about what happened, what might have happened, or what will happen once they start reviewing your file.

    Then you pick up your certificates and start searching for the grades that might bring you down. From here you start stressing about that math class you hated in school – and it just goes on and on and on. That’s an obsessive behavior you’re likely to repeat even after you get the job.

    Whether inherited or acquired through experience, these thoughts have one thing in common: they work in cycles. They lurk in the background and influence the way you live and the decisions you make.

    For another person it might be the image of a violent scene that keeps popping up in their mind – maybe an accident or thoughts of an assault, and the fear that that generates.

    An obsession might also take the form of an impulse. Someone might suddenly feel the urge to drive in front of a moving train, and then hold that thought to the point where the person starts obsessing about self-harm.

    Obsessive thoughts take different forms, but they embody common themes – the fear of contamination, a strong desire to organize things and events in a particular order, violence and aggression, sexual violence and impulses, and the desire to avoid mistakes. 

    Religious obsessions can cripple people with guilt or embolden them with a conviction to act in the hope they’ll find relief. Every obsessive person will do something to find relief, repeatedly performing an act till it becomes a compulsion.

    Do you find yourself going to check the door every ten minutes, or getting annoyed if your shoes are not in a particular order? Maybe you keep reading that email you’ve read 20 times already.

    Compulsive behaviors provide relief, but it’s only temporary. Long-term solutions start with addressing the root cause of anxiety – and that’s what you’re going to learn next.

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    What is Rewire Your Ocd Brain about?

    Rewire Your OCD Brain (2021) presents compelling evidence behind the origins of anxiety, and explains how this knowledge can be combined with easy-to-apply hacks to manage obsessive behavior and regain control over your life.

    Rewire Your Ocd Brain Review

    Rewire Your OCD Brain (2012) is a valuable resource for anyone looking to understand and overcome obsessive-compulsive disorder. Here's what makes this book special:

    • It provides clear, actionable strategies for managing OCD symptoms, offering practical advice that readers can implement in their daily lives.
    • The book combines scientific research, case studies, and personal experiences, making it a well-rounded and engaging read.
    • With its insightful exploration of the brain's role in OCD and its practical exercises, the book ensures that readers find the subject matter fascinating, rather than boring.

    Who should read Rewire Your Ocd Brain?

    • People dealing with anxiety, compulsive behaviors, or panic attacks
    • Anyone trying to understand family members or friends dealing with OCD
    • Therapists helping clients to manage their obsessions

    About the Author

    Catherine M. Pittman has taught psychology at Notre Dame University, Indiana, for over thirty years. During that time she’s written and published Rewire Your Anxious Brain, 50 Ways to Rewire Your Anxious Brain, and Taming Your Amygdala.

    Before his death in 2023, William H. Youngs ran a private practice in clinical neuropsychology. He had also worked as a neuropsychologist at a hospital for 25 years while teaching as a visiting assistant professor at Notre Dame University.

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    Rewire Your Ocd Brain FAQs 

    What is the main message of Rewire Your Ocd Brain?

    The main message of Rewire Your Ocd Brain is that you can change your brain's response to OCD through targeted strategies.

    How long does it take to read Rewire Your Ocd Brain?

    The reading time for Rewire Your Ocd Brain varies, but it typically takes a few hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Rewire Your Ocd Brain a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Rewire Your Ocd Brain is worth reading because it provides effective techniques for managing OCD symptoms and improving daily life.

    Who is the author of Rewire Your Ocd Brain?

    The authors of Rewire Your Ocd Brain are Catherine M. Pittman and William H. Youngs.

    What to read after Rewire Your Ocd Brain?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Rewire Your Ocd Brain, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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    • Rewire Your Anxious Brain by Catherine M. Pittman & Elizabeth M. Karle
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    • The Anxious Generation by Jonathan Haidt
    • The CBT Workbook for Mental Health by Simón Rego & Sarah Fader
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    • Unfu*k Yourself by Gary John Bishop
    • Elon Musk by Walter Isaacson