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  • Common Symptoms of False Memory OCD and How It’s Treated

    False memory OCD is one of the many different subtypes of OCD.

    People suffering from most of the types and subtypes of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) experience a sense of false or distorted memories. They may question if they locked their house, closed their garage door, or turned off their oven or stove.

    This initial question can quickly spiral into an obsession and fixation. This downward spiral can be difficult to break. It may even cause them to doubt themselves about certain events and situations that took place. With OCD, these obsessions can be resolved with the help of performing a compulsion.

    Let’s learn more about false memory OCD, some of the common symptoms, and how it is treated.

    What Is False Memory OCD?

    False memory OCD is the unwanted and intrusive thoughts about a person’s own memories. Individuals who have been diagnosed with false memory OCD experience frequent doubts about their own lives, mostly related to events and situations that took place in the past. They become easily convinced that their own memories aren’t accurate, which can bring on other negative emotions and feelings like anxiety, guilt, and shame.

    These beliefs and feelings can lead to performing compulsions to try to relieve some of their stress and have better clarity on their memories.

    Common Symptoms

    Similarly to other types of obsessive-compulsive disorder, the common symptoms of false memory OCD lie within the obsessions and compulsions.

    The Obsessions

    The obsessions of false memory OCD are the unwanted and intrusive feelings, thoughts, or images that are related to a memory from the past. These are some of the common symptoms of obsessions of false memory OCD:

    • Avoiding certain people, places, and things
    • Constant and consistent doubts
    • Follow strict routines
    • Impulsivity
    • Intrusive thoughts
    • Punishing oneself
    • Stress about certain topics of conversation
    • Inability to tolerate uncertainty

    The Compulsions

    The compulsions are the ritualistic behavior that someone with false memory OCD feels the need to engage in to alleviate or reduce the stress they feel from their obsessions. These are some of the common compulsions of false memory OCD:

    • Avoidance
    • Confession
    • Distraction
    • Mental reviewing
    • Physical checks
    • Repeating mantras
    • Seeking reassurance
    • Suppressing true thoughts and feelings

    How to Treat False Memory OCD

    The best type of treatment for the various types of OCD, including false memory OCD, is to seek additional help through a licensed and trained mental health professional. There are many different types of therapy approaches that can be beneficial for false memory OCD.

    Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Exposure and Response Prevention Therapy (ERP), and Group Therapy are just a few of the many different therapy approaches that can be used to help treat false memory OCD.

    Cognitive Behavioral Therapy works to improve someone’s thinking patterns. A therapist will work with you to get a better understanding of those negative and unhelpful thought patterns and replace them with more positive coping skills.

    Exposure and Response Prevention Therapy involves exposure to some of your triggers. A therapist will work with you to expose certain triggers without performing a compulsion. Over time, the anxiety and other negative feelings relating to that obsession will fade, along with the feeling that you need to perform a compulsion.

    Group therapy can be a great way for individuals with false memory OCD to not feel so alone. Plus, it’s a great way to see how other people with this diagnosis are working to relieve stress and cope.

    Next Steps

    Now that you know more about false memory OCD, some of the common symptoms, and treatment options, what’s next? It’s time to get the help you need and deserve. Reach out today to set up a consultation for OCD treatment.