Fradkin, who has dedicated his career to studying OCD and treatment outcomes, found via his study that rather than being characterized by inflexible behavior, OCD may manifest in a person as a result of a mistrust of past experiences.
In other words, there could be an underlying reason for the development of OCD.
Fradkin says he was motivated to dive into the study after noticing, time after time, that people with OCD spoke of what he calls the “not just right experience.”
“They can do an action that allegedly reaches a goal, but they just don’t feel quite right about it,” he told Healthline. “The vagueness of this experience and yet the dramatic impact on function made me want to dig deeper.”
His surprise moment?
When the outcome of the study matched his hypothesis exactly.
Fradkin and team used mathematical equations to assess how people with OCD performed on a multiple choice test, and then dug into what made them make the choices they did.
The outcome, he believes, could in time “inform new treatments and therapeutics” for people living with OCD.