In the study of Trumbull, he claimed that obsessive compulsive behaviors are the maladaptive strategies to maintain the well-being or relief from tension, after a repeated trauma or relational loss. He supported his idea with his own inferences about his patient, neuro-imaging studies, developmental, cognitive and learning theories.
Matt, the patient of Trumbull, has OCD. When we briefly look at his history, we see the loss of his mother. As he reported, their attachment was secure and full of love. After his loss, a step mother came. The step mother made a fuss about the order and cleanliness of the households. Most of the time, conflict due to order were happened in the house. When he went to high school, he was obsessed by the places of his belongings in the dormitory. In addition, he was active in terms of sports but he was worry about any injury. This worry became a big problem for him. He was very afraid of any weakness of deformation in his body, which he related this with his fear of inability to marry or to have a child. Later, he saw any feeling of imbalance in his body as a sign of a danger. In order to get rid of the situation, he was making compulsive behavior.
According to Trumbull, Matt is afraid of not having a family since he searched for a life-giving love to replace his loss to maintain his life. This can be seen in losses at the process of mourn even long times after the loss. This aim might the only thing that he is rely on to live since he actually is seeking an attachment. He is too sensitive about his body due to his beliefs. His brain becomes over activated and aroused when he faces any sign of danger or reminder of danger that may prevent his ultimate goal. This sensitivity gives Matt great anxiety to deal with. He improved a maladaptive strategy to relief the feeling of excessive worry.
Also, he was conditioned with the order and relief from tension. Because of this, He may think about when he has control over his body, he will get rid of the tension. This was related with the state of the patients with OCD having the stress about the over-responsibility, intolerance with uncertainty and struggle for control.