Early Maladaptive Schemas in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and Anxiety Disorders

  •  Afsaneh Yoosefi    
  •  Sepideh RajeziEsfahani    
  •  Abbas Pourshahbaz    
  •  Behrooz Dolatshahee    
  •  Abbasali Assadi    
  •  Fahime Maleki    
  •  Sara Momeni    


BACKGROUND: Purpose of this study is comparing early maladaptive schemas which are active in patients suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder and anxiety disorders together, considering recent DSM-5 changes through which OCD has been placed in a separate and new diagnostic level.

METHODOLOGY: This research is a causal-comparative study. 151 persons were categorized in three groups of people suffering from OCD (50), suffering from anxiety disorders (50), and control group (51). Early diagnosis of disorders in two clinical groups were verified based on structured clinical interview for DSM )SCID-I) and Yale-Brown obsessive-compulsive scale (Y-BOCS). General health questionnaire (GHQ-28), the short versions of the Young schemas questionnaire (YSQ), and Padua inventory-Washington State University Revision (PI-WSUR) were also implemented.

FINDINGS: Findings revealed that mean scores of all schemas of those suffering from anxiety disorders, except for Self-Sacrifice, Unrelenting-Standards/Hypercriticalness, Entitlement/Grandiosity schemas, and mean scores of all early maladaptive schemas of those suffering from obsessive compulsive disorder are significantly higher than those of control group. OCD group had significantly higher scores in Emotional Deprivation, Mistrust/Abuse, and Defectiveness/Shame schemas than anxiety disorders group. Defectiveness/Shame and Vulnerability to Harm or Illness schemas can explain 38 percent of variance of obsessive compulsive symptoms.

CONCLUSION: The dominant and specific early maladaptive schemas of OCD are Defectiveness/Shame, Mistrust/Abuse, and Emotional Deprivation Schemas. This study besides supporting the theory of early maladaptive schemas, suggests that interventions based on specific schemas can be useful methods in treatment of OCD and anxiety disorders.

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