Real Event OCD: Symptoms, Treatments, and More

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a condition that is characterized by a cycle of recurring and intrusive thoughts and behaviors. These thoughts, or obsessions, can lead to uncontrollable behaviors, or compulsions.

In the mind of a person with this mental health condition, the compulsions should help alleviate the obsessions. However, they rarely do.

Instead, the person performs the compulsions over and over again without resolution. The thoughts and compulsions can interfere with the person’s ability to:

  • perform daily tasks
  • hold a job
  • leave their home

In most cases, these intrusive thoughts are worries or anxieties about things that might happen. You might leave the oven on and start a fire.

Sometimes, however, these obsessions may come from thinking about something that already happened. This type of OCD is called real event OCD.

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, real event OCD is not a unique diagnosis. It is OCD that develops when responding to actual events.

Real event OCD occurs when you have obsessive thoughts about an event that occurred in your life. This obsession-compulsion cycle of real event OCD may look a bit different from other types.

Primarily, the compulsion is an inability to stop thinking about the event. You play it over and over again in your mind, seeking answers that you cannot find.

But like other forms of OCD, real event OCD can often be treated if it is recognized and addressed. Keep reading to learn the symptoms of real event OCD and who can help treat it.