If you suffer from what has been dubbed false memory OCD, it can be confusing to figure out if you actually have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, or if what you are experiencing falls under an entirely different subtype. Part of the confusion stems from the fact that false memory OCD shares many of the same features as other forms of obsessive-compulsive disorder, like harm obsessions and unwelcome intrusive thoughts. However, there are some distinct differences which mark this subtype as its own unique diagnosis.
How Obsessive Compulsive Disorder can affect you
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder is a mental health condition in which someone experiences unwanted and intrusive thoughts (obsessions) that cause them great anxiety. The person with the disorder then performs repetitive behaviors or mental acts (compulsions) as a way to reduce the anxiety caused by their obsessions. These compulsions can take up hours out of a day, and can be followed by guilt and shame.
Symptoms of False Memory OCD
If you are questioning whether you might have false memory OCD, here may be signs to look out for. Are you constantly questioning if your memories are real? Do you get intrusive thoughts telling you that your memories are fake and that the person in them isn’t who they claim to be? Have you had these thoughts since a traumatic event? If so, please seek professional help. The best way to diagnose false memory OCD is through a mental health specialist. In order to find the right specialist, it’s important to know that this type of OCD can only be treated by a psychologist or psychiatrist with experience treating patients with this type of OCD. In addition, there are other forms of treatment available such as medication (to reduce anxiety), cognitive-behavioral therapy (to learn how to control obsessions) or exposure response prevention (to address avoidance).
What happens during treatment
The treatment for false memory OCD is often a combination of individual therapy, group therapy, and medication. While the treatment may vary depending on the severity of your symptoms, there are many things that you can do to help yourself recover. These include developing coping skills to deal with intrusive thoughts, identifying when you’re using avoidance as a coping strategy, and practicing self-compassion. If you’re experiencing these obsessive worries, it’s important to seek professional help. An OCD specialist will be able to provide information about this type of OCD and develop an appropriate treatment plan.