What relationship do grief and OCD play in our lives? Explained in detail

When we lose a loved one or a close friend, it is very difficult to rebuild our lives once again. Additionally, there are five stages of grief that everyone should be aware of. These are- denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.

However, for people with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or OCD, this grief healing process can take an even weirder turn.

They face a very hard time accepting the loss of a loved one and become weirder still.

Says therapist Maythal Eshaghian on the relationship between grief and OCD,

Grief can be uniquely challenging as obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviours may intensify the emotions. Individuals with OCD might find themselves ruminating excessively on the deceased person or dwelling on perceived past mistakes and missed opportunities. The constant need for reassurance, ritualistic behaviours, and avoidance strategies may escalate, hindering the natural progression through the stages of grief. The persistent doubts and fears inherent in OCD can magnify the already complex emotions associated with loss.

How can grief and OCD completely take down a grieving person mentally

Here are some signs of a person suffering from OCD and what they do when undergoing the experience of grief.

Blaming themselves

Firstly, a person with OCD starts ruminating about their time with the deceased person and starts wishing that they could have done things differently. Additionally, this dangerous cycle also makes them think that they are to blame for the death of their loved one.

Intrusive thoughts about the loved one

Furthermore, a person with the disorder starts getting many intrusive images of the deceased person.

Punishing themselves

Next, these people also start dwelling on their perceived mistakes and start using behavioral patterns that may be indicative of punishing themselves.

Holding themselves responsible for the loss

Meanwhile, these people also think that they are the ones responsible for the death of their loved ones and struggle to rid themselves of this vicious cycle.

Attempting to undo past wrongdoings

While grieving the loss of a loved one, people with OCD start undoing their past wrongdoings and start improving things for the better. That’s why reviewing past actions and avoiding reminders of the loss are some important behavior patterns involving such persons.

Thus, this is how a person with OCD undergoes grief and takes time to accept the situation that the loved one will never return from heaven. Therefore, we must give such people a lot of love and care when they are going through a period of grief.

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