Perceptual aberration, and magical ideation in obsessive-compulsive disorder OCD

Clinicians and researchers have pondered the intersection of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and psychosis. We examined the records of 395 individuals seeking treatment for OCD and classified participants according to their most frequent or distressing obsession and compulsion. All participants completed measures of fixity of belief, perceptual distortions, magical ideation, and psychotic symptoms. Results indicated that individuals who reported fear of harming self or others via overwhelming impulse or by mistake, and those with religious obsessions, had poorer insight and more perceptual distortions and magical ideation than did individuals with other types of obsessions. These results did not appear to reflect mere differences in OCD severity. Results are discussed in light of previous findings showing that psychotic-like symptoms are associated with attenuated treatment outcome in OCD. More research is needed to assess the absolute magnitude of psychotic-like features in OCD patients with impulse/mistake and religious obsessions and to examine whether these features interfere with standard cognitive-behavioral therapy.

Temporal Perceptual Aberrations Scale (tPAS)

1. I sometimes have the feeling that I have already been in a situation like the one I am currently in (déjà vécu).
2. I sometimes re-imagine experiences I had in the past.
3. I dedicate much time to planning my schedule.
4. I sometimes have the feeling of having already seen things that are presented to me (déjà vu).
5. I sometimes find myself dreaming awake.
6. I sometimes look upon myself from a future point of view.
7. I sometimes imagine myself as a younger child.
8. I sometimes have a dream in which I meet my past self.
9. I sometimes have a dream in which I meet my future self.
10. I sometimes think deeply about my old age.
11. I sometimes know what to do as I already predicted such a situation without previously experiencing it.
12. I sometimes feel that I am older than my current age.
13. I sometimes feel that I am younger than my current age.
14. I sometimes have the feeling that I know what is going to happen.
15. I sometimes regret key decisions I took in my life.
16. I am sometimes bothered by key decisions I have to make in the far future.
17. I sometimes believe that patterns or situations that have already happened will re-occur again.
18. I am sometimes not sure if some events had really occurred to me or were just imagined.
19. I sometimes feel sure when performing an action, although I have never done it before.
20. I am sometimes not sure if I did something that I had already done.

The 20-item tPAS scale, which was developed for measuring the frequency of schizotypal perceptual aberrations of time, is presented. Participants had to rate on a scale from 1 to 10 how much these statements are true with respect to themselves, based on their own experiences (1 – not at all; 10 – very much).

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