Past Events and OCD: How To Deal With It

Written by: Tanvi Vinay Gangavali – MA (Clinical Psychology)
Last updated date : January 06, 2023

Past events can be traumatic. There is a connection between past events and OCD. It can also lead us to feel disturbed. We also feel that past events keep coming to our minds over and over again. This further leads to more stress. Also, there is a connection between past events and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). These are obsessive thoughts that do not leave you. It also affects your ability to do tasks or even hold a job. Intrusive thoughts about the past can be hard to deal with. This article helps you to know the effect of past events and OCD. You can also learn ways to deal with it better.

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Chapter 1:

Symptoms of Past Events and OCD

Past events and OCD can have a huge impact. Many signs are shown to us to indicate that we are affected by it. It is hard to manage this.
  • People with past events and OCD spend a lot of time thinking again and again about the event. They try to look at it in new ways. They relive the entire event. Also, trying to regret their actions.
  • Intrusive thoughts about the past make people feel always worried. They keep asking for assurance from other people. They want to know that everything is fine. Also, they fear that the worst may happen to them.
  • Our thoughts are also affected because of the impact of past events. The person sits on small details of the event and cannot let go. They think of what could have happened better.
  • Emotions also go for a toss. They tend to confuse emotions for facts. This makes them feel guilty. Also, they feel anxious all the time.
  • Intrusive thoughts about the past are hard to deal with. It makes the person feel drained out. Hence, they are urgent to find a solution. This also means they will go to any extent to resolve this. But, in reality, it adds to their stress.
  • They also find it difficult to separate themselves from the event. They give a lot of value to the event and how they felt. This makes them also go on an emotional spree.
  • The person is in a constant state of doubt. The intrusive thoughts about past events and OCD bother them. They also feel uncertain about their life.
  • The person feels stuck in a loop of the past event and cannot let go.
  • Lack of control over their thoughts.
  • Their relationships go for a toss. Also, their quality of life is impacted.

Chapter 2:

Which Past Events Can Lead To OCD?

The cause and reason for why past events lead to OCD are unclear. Two people who face the same event might have varied responses. One of them may be affected by OCD whereas the other one doesn’t. Hence, we should try to know which past events can trigger OCD such as:
  1. Any form of abuse- Physical, Sexual, or Emotional. Abuse in any form affects the person deeply. This can also affect the person’s mental health which can lead to OCD.
  2. Any form of neglect- Emotional neglect is the absence of emotions shown to another person. This can trigger many emotions which are hard to manage.
  3. Family issues or conflicts.
  4. Traumatic events such as war, accidents, and riots.
  5. Changes in relationships.

The impact of past events and OCD varies from person to person. Also, the severity and frequency of the event also matter.

Chapter 3:

Past Events and OCD: Treatment

The impact caused by past events can be treated. A number of treatment options need to be combined. But, it is important to know that past events and OCD can be treated and one does not have to suffer. The options are:
  1. Medication. OCD can lead to changes in your brain chemicals. Hence, slowing down intrusive thoughts about the past medication helps. Only a doctor can prescribe this to you. You might also get relief from anxiety.
  2. Seeking therapy. Many forms of therapy work well with OCD and past events. The counselor will also teach you ways to cope with these thoughts. This will also help you to feel better.
  3. Exposure and response therapy. This is used to treat OCD. In this, your counselor will help you to unpair the feelings and past events which have led to OCD. This means you might also get exposed to your triggers slowly but the counselor will help you to respond to them in a healthy way.

Chapter 4:

Some Things You Can Do

Where there is a will, there is a way. If you have the will to come out of this loop then you can. You can also do many things by yourself to reduce the impact caused by past events and OCD. You need to do this daily. With practice, you will see a change. It will not happen overnight. But, with effort and focus, you can do it. Some things that you can do are:
  1. Being in the ‘present’. Trying to stop your thoughts does not work. You need to accept the thoughts and sit with them in the present. You can also try to be in the present by focusing more on your breathing or on the environment in which you are sitting. Try to observe the wall behind you, and sense the feeling of the floor that you are sitting on.
  2. Distraction. Our mind is like a child. You can distract yourself as soon as you notice these thoughts start to come up. You can master it if practiced daily. Certain things you can do such as listening to music, going for a walk or cooking.
  3. Past events and OCD drain you out. You need to take good care of yourself. This means you need to keep track of your sleep, diet, and water intake. Eating home-cooked meals helps. Also, drinking 2.5-3 liters of water helps to keep you hydrated. Also, doing some form of physical work works wonders. Walking, jogging, yoga or even dancing can help. This can also help you with your overall well-being.

Chapter 5:

To Sum Up

Past events and OCD take a toll on your life. You feel stressed out. Also, you feel a lot of negative emotions. You also feel like a failure because you cannot get out of it. These feelings are natural. The person feels tired most of the time. The mind is never rested. But, help is available. It is possible to get over the impact. With the right kind of treatment, you can find relief. There are many courses on our epsych website. These are online. It is based on various mental health topics. One such course is on perfectionism. You can enroll for it online.

"Learnt a lot from this course" Sally

51 sections

6-Weeks Self-Paced

  • Educational Content
  • Quizzes
  • Self-reflection material
  • Suggestions & feedback
  • Worksheet, tips & tools to use

$9.00 $12.00

25% discount