Existential OCD: Things You Need To Know
Do you ever find yourself questioning the meaning of life and your existence? If so, you may be experiencing existential OCD. Existential OCD is an anxiety disorder characterized by intrusive, unwanted thoughts about the meaning of life and one's own purpose. These thoughts can cause extreme distress and disrupt daily life. In this blog post, we'll explore what existential OCD is, its symptoms, and how to manage it.
Know About Existential OCD
Existential OCD is a form of Obsessive disorder that focuses on the thoughts, feelings, and existential questions associated with life, death, and the meaning of life. Existential OCD is characterized by intrusive thoughts, doubts, and worries about the purpose of life, the meaning of existence, and one's place in the universe.
The sufferer may obsessively worry about their mortality or spend time contemplating existential questions such as what is the purpose of life? These intrusive thoughts can be incredibly distressing and can lead to anxiety, depression, and fear.
Symptoms Of Existential OCD
Existential OCD causes someone to obsess over philosophical and existential questions, such as What is the meaning of life? or What is my purpose? These intrusive thoughts can be paralyzing and lead to intense anxiety and fear.
Common symptoms of existential OCD include worrying excessively about the future, feeling overwhelmed by life’s complexity, difficulty making decisions, difficulty sleeping, feelings of guilt or shame, difficulty concentrating, difficulty completing tasks, and difficulty with social interactions.
Someone with existential OCD may also be consumed with thoughts about death, mortality, and suffering. These thoughts may lead to fear and dread of life’s uncertainties, as well as an overwhelming sense of helplessness and despair.
Those who suffer from existential OCD often experience difficulty in finding a source of comfort and security in the world around them. This can be further exacerbated by a lack of faith in any kind of higher power, or by a fear that life has no ultimate purpose or meaning. As a result, those with existential OCD may feel isolated and hopeless in their struggle.
How Is Existential OCD Treated?
Existential OCD can be challenging to treat, as it is often rooted in deep philosophical concerns. However, many people have found relief through traditional OCD treatment methods, including CBT and ERP.
CBT is a type of psychotherapy that helps you recognize unhelpful thought patterns and learn how to change them. This can be especially helpful for those with existential OCD, as it helps you gain a better understanding of your intrusive thoughts and develop strategies to better manage them. During ERP, you confront your fears by exposing yourself to your triggers and learning to respond to them in a different way. This type of treatment can help you become desensitized to your triggers and reduce their impact over time.
There are several self-help techniques that may also provide relief from existential OCD symptoms.
- Practicing Mindfulness: Mindfulness involves focusing on the present moment and being aware of your thoughts and feelings without judgment.
- Identifying Core Values: Existential OCD can cause us to question our values and beliefs. Taking time to identify what is important to you can help provide a sense of purpose and direction.