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Can OCD Affect Your Dreams?

I've noticed that when I'm having many intrusive thoughts and OCD cycles, it carries into my dreams. Give me a break OCD!!!

The last few days I have woken up with ROCD thoughts, and have been exceptionally anxious. Reflecting on this I remember my dreams were about my relationship and they weren't loving dreams.

A Dr from Hong Kong univeristy found in his study that OCD can influence our dreams:

“The overall findings substantiate the notion that individuals with high obsessive-compulsive distress tend to dream certain themes more frequently,” said *Calvin Kai-Ching Yu, Ph.D., of the Department of Counseling and Psychology.

OCD and Dreams

So it's only understandable that if I am having trouble with ROCD it's naturally going to occur in my dreams. We've all had it. Where we do something all day, or speak about someone just before bed, that thing or person magically appears in our dream. With OCD especially when we are stuck in a cycle our brain is thinking about little else. It doesn't have much else to choose from when we finally go to sleep.

To give you an example. I was having a dream about my girlfriend. We were out and about. Or in fact I was coming to meet her. We met up in what appeared to be a half Asda half arcade - dreams are weird. As we walked out of the store, she saw one of my friends. She proceeded to talk with him and walk off. My OCD (in the dream) told me "see she doesn't want/support/get you". I woke up, and I was mad for about 3 minutes. My OCD was in full force telling me that, that was evidence. I then came to my senses, and realised that I was mad at her for something she didn't do. I soon broke this cycle. However, there have been some days when I woke up, and couldn't break the cycle and it put me on a downward spiral of "what ifs" around my relationship.

If this happens to you my only advice would be - Once you wake up, do something to calm your mind and break the OCD cycle. Do your best to separate yourself from believing the dream at all. Meditate, be mindful or read a few pages from an OCD book to defuse yourself from your thoughts.

Hope that helps,

Stu

*Quote taken from http://psychcentral.com/news/2012/12/27/in-ocd-intense-dreams-linked-to-more-compulsive-behavior/49694.html

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