This doctoral dissertation explores the efficacy of transcending through Transcendental Meditation® practice for reducing symptoms of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Transcending means to go beyond and is the process of the mind experiencing more quiet levels of thought, ultimately going beyond even the subtlest impulse of a thought, to experience the silent state of self-awareness at the source of thought. OCD is an anxiety disorder marked by recurring, intrusive, unwanted thoughts (obsessions) and ritualized, repeated behaviors performed in an effort to gain relief from obsessions (compulsions).
OCD is deep-rooted and all-pervasive, manifesting across all levels of life, from the inner most self to outer behavior. The two most common treatments for OCD—Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and medication—reduce OCD symptoms but do not address the underlying cause of OCD, which is stress and a fragmented sense of self. To best treat OCD, a holistic treatment is required that not only targets the specific, surface expressions of disorder but removes the root of the disorder by integrating all levels of the personality.
A semi-structured interview was conducted with eleven people with OCD who learned the Transcendental Meditation technique. Content analysis of the interview data revealed that OCD primarily impacted one’s sense of self and feelings (17 codes including 48 quotations). Some of the codes in this supercode were anxiety, embarrassment, bondage, depersonalization and depression. In parallel, transcending primarily led to integration of one’s sense of self and feelings (13 codes with 63 quotations). The codes in this supercode included decreased anxiety, calmer, love, higher self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-trust. Transcending was a holistic treatment which led to integration of all levels of the individual. Effects of Transcendental Meditation practice were most prominent at subtler levels of life—sense of self and emotions. Integration of deeper levels of one’s personality supported greater integration of more expressed levels of experience—mind, senses, body and environment.
Transcending during Transcendental Meditation appears to treat OCD by working at the source of the disorder—lack of integration of one’s sense of self—providing a foundation for real freedom from the obsessions and compulsions that characterize OCD.
|Commitee:||Crouch, Christopher, Egenes, Thomas, Morehead, Paul|
|School:||Maharishi University of Management|
|School Location:||United States -- Iowa|
|Source:||DAI-B 78/01(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Mental health, Philosophy, Psychology|
|Keywords:||Holistic, Obsessive compulsive disorder, Transcendental meditation, Transcending, Vedas|
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