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Open Access "Winter Is Coming!"—Treatment of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Imagery After Viewing the Television Series Game of Thrones

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This article presents the detailed case of a 27-year-old man who began to suffer from intrusive imagery after watching a brutal scene in the TV series Game of Thrones. The content of the intrusive imagery included images of people with enucleated eyes and was initially accompanied by anxiety about sharp objects. The patient's mental distress was assessed by the Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale and the Impact of Event Scale—Revised, and the patient was diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy was provided to treat related distressing memories and the intrusive imagery. As treatment progressed, more complex and layered aspects of the symptom presentation became evident, and EMDR was integrated with other treatments. These included psychodynamic psychotherapy to address his complicated relationship with his father, exposure and response prevention (ERP) therapy to reduce avoidance of sharp objects, and cognitive therapy (CT) for aggressive violent thoughts toward others. The article identifies the various clinical decision points and discusses theoretical conceptualizations and related factors. This clinical case report provides additional support for the body of knowledge on the relationship between traumatic events and imagery in OCD. Therefore, trauma-focused treatments, such as EMDR therapy, which concentrates specifically on those experiences, might be especially effective.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2017

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