OCD and Loneliness: Questions from our readers
During the month of June, we have talked on our social networks about OCD and Loneliness.
People with obsessive-compulsive disorder often have their personal relationships affected. Many people with OCD feel alone and misunderstood.
We have asked our readers their doubts and, together with other questions that we have considered interesting on the subject, we bring you this article in which we will talk about issues such as how OCD can affect relationships, what is “ghosting ” and what you can do if it happens to you; and some keys to combat loneliness and OCD.
Remember that you can participate in our debates and ask all your questions about OCD on our social networks. Follow us on Instagram or Facebook to participate and find out more information.
Why do people with OCD feel lonely?
Loneliness is a common feeling among people with OCD.
Some people with obsessive compulsive disorder may feel different from others or even strangers. These people believe that what happens to them is unusual because they do not see it among their family and friends. This makes them feel alone.
Although there are actually many people with OCD, the feeling of loneliness and misunderstanding are very common among our patients. This is why emotional support is so important.
OCD is a very common disorder, it affects 2% or 3% of the population. Even if you think your obsessions are very strange, in our center we have treated hundreds of people with OCD with obsessions that are probably very similar to yours. Therefore, we know how to act.
The support and trust of loved ones is really important for people dealing with OCD. It will help you approach your treatment with more energy and positivity.
The feeling of community is very important as well. In our center, we also carry out group activities. If you have OCD, these activities (which are voluntary) will allow you to meet other people with OCD. Working together on common challenges will help you create bonds, have have inspiration or examples and feel less alone.
What to do if you have OCD and you feel lonely?
Many people with obsessive-compulsive disorder have experienced extreme loneliness over the years.
Sometimes, there are people who feel that these fears are “unspeakable”, create shame and make them feel weak.
Many of our patients do not feel understood and end up hiding both the disease and the associated moods from everyone.
The causes of loneliness are very varied, but in general there is usually a poor adaptation to society and a lack of commitments, references and real bonds.
Therefore, in order to get out of this situation, it is necessary to know the causes and look for an environments where you can express yourself freely, be yourself and create deep and lasting bonds.
Therapeutic groups (such as our Group Intensive or our free activities for patients) are very helpful for people with OCD who feel lonely, for three reasons:
- They allow you to meet people with similar stories who are struggling to overcome the problem, so you can understand that what is happening is not “weird” and you can feel that there are solutions.
- Knowing a person who is further behind in the therapeutic path and providing support for them during therapy allows you to become aware of your own progress.
- Meeting a person who is further ahead allows you to see that there is hope.
An answer that never arrives: What is Ghosting?
Ghosting comes from “ghost”. It refers to cutting off the relationship with a person suddenly and without giving any explanation.
It is often applied to people who meet on the Internet and suddenly, one of them stops responding to the other and disappears. It is very common in dating applications.
The ghosting person doesn’t show up for a date, stops responding, disappears, and sometimes blocks the other person so they can’t be found.
People with OCD often experience this situation. But instead of getting angry or answering, many people with OCD block out because of fear and because not wanting to hurt the other person (even though the other one has treated them badly).
Respecting the other person’s space is important. But you don’t have to respect that they treat you badly. You shouldn’t feel guilty for getting angry.
It’s okay if another person doesn’t want to pursue a relationship with you. But not taking responsibility for telling you is a lack of maturity and commitment.
Although there is not much commitment when people meet, disappearing like that is rude and immature. You have the right to express your anger and never blame yourself for another person’s disrespect.
What can you do when someone does “ghosting” to you?
Sometimes in a relationship (friendship or love), a person disappears, stops responding to the other or prevents being contacted (for example, blocking you). This is very common in dating apps. It’s called “ghosting”.
If someone does “ghosting” to you, you may blame yourself for it, justify it, or avoid conflict. But it is the other person who has treated you badly and you have the right to complain. Therefore, we give you these tips on what to do.
- Identify your emotions. “Ghosting” may arouse feelings of loneliness, abandonment, disappointment, sadness, or anger. Don’t dismiss them by prioritizing how the other person would feel. Your emotions have a meaning: they indicate what your needs are.
- Focus on the fact that this is not your fault. No one deserves to be abandoned without explanation. It’s okay if something doesn’t work, but a mature response is to explain it: “it’s okay, we can break up.”
- Learn some techniques to manage falling out of love in apps. For example, even if they don’t answer you, you can write to them telling them that it was okay to leave the relationship, but that you deserve the respect of having an answer.
- Direct emotions to the situation. The key is that they have treated you badly. Internalizing guilt is a common risk in people with bad past experiences, but that guilt is not real. Don’t ignore your emotions and the respect you deserve.
- Think that, although it was nice at first, if the relationship had continued, that immature side would end up appearing. Now you can regain your confidence and meet someone who respects you as you deserve.
How to recover trust in yourself and reconnect with other people after suffering “ghosting”?
We give you 4 basic recommendations.
- Think that not all people are like that. There are many people who is alone and really want to meet others.
- Be authentic. Being yourself you will make you connect better with people who are worthwhile.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for a commitment from the other person when you reach a certain point in the relationship.
- We recommend meeting shortly after the first contact to not spend a lot of time online to finally discover a lack of commitment in real life.
Questions from our readers
“I feel extremely lonely. I have had anxiety and OCD for over 50 years. It seems that there is no cure for this.”
Among people with OCD the feeling of loneliness is very common. This is due to not feeling understood because they think that what happens to them is strange. But it is not like that.
There is a high percentage of the population with OCD. Although OCD may seem unusual to you, in our center we see it frequently.
The feeling of loneliness can be very strong and last for a long time. For this reason, we recommend participating in OCD groups, where you can feel free to express yourself and meet people with the same concerns.
On the other hand, people with OCD can suffer from it for many years and go through different therapies. This is exhausting and can sap your spirits and hopes.
Therefore, it is necessary to carry out a therapy that goes to the root of the problem, that analyzes the factors of appearance and maintenance of OCD and that helps you break your blocks to free your true personality, numbed by OCD.
The key is knowing that OCD comes from a high level of anxiety. Don’t focus on keeping symptoms under control, because that’s just a patch to a continuing problem. Focus must be on fighting this anxiety.
“I would like to know how much OCD affects interpersonal relationships.”
OCD can greatly affect interpersonal relationships: family, friends, partner, etc.
Constant doubts and obsessions can damage the relationship with loved ones. Also compulsions, which take a long time and disrupt our daily routine.
In addition to this, the person with OCD may experience some situations such as:
1- Feeling alone and misunderstood.
- Living pleasing others without attending to their own needs.
- Becoming codependent and establishing unhealthy relationships.
- Worry a lot about what other people will say and about following social rules.
- Not always taking your needs into consideration because the person is focusing on their fear
In therapy, we work on OCD in a comprehensive way. Therefore, we not only focus on your internal anxiety, but we also help you improve your interpersonal relationships.
Also, meeting other people with OCD and working together to overcome it can be very beneficial. Therefore, in addition to individual therapy, we also do volunteer group activities and programs.
“Can a person with OCD flirt?”
A person with OCD can flirt and have relationships. However, in some cases, OCD can negatively affect meeting people or maintaining a love relationship.
When you have OCD, meeting a new person to start a relationship can be difficult, because of things like:
- Thinking that they will not understand you.
- Tryingto please the other person all the time and not attending to your own needs.
- Allowing toxic behaviors for fear of conflict.
- Having high anxiety that makes it difficult for you to behave naturally.
When you are already in a relationship, doubts, obsessions and compulsions can damage it in a variety of ways. Some examples:
- Having continuous obsessions and compulsions that affect the daily routine and are undermining the relationship.
- Having an Jelausy OCD oor a Relationship OCD. They are two types of OCD that focus on relationships and especially damage them.
- Having toxic love relationships, where codependency, over-adaptation, guilt or manipulation prevail.
OCD therapy will help you combat anxiety, awaken your true personality, and improve how you relate with other people (among many other things). Thus, meeting someone and connecting will be easier.