OCD - obsessive compulsive disorder is a neurobiological disorder which studies show is most probably inherited. So bereavement is not the cause of OCD.
Having said that, people with existing OCD or with a pre-disposition can find that their symptoms begin or are triggered by a specific event such as the death of a loved one. For more information about the the causes of OCD click here.
OCD is definitely made worse by anxiety, as individuals with this condition learn that they can control their anxiety or stress with repetitive or obsessive rituals or compunctions. It is a way for the brain to distract itself from the difficulty of facing the grief they feel.
For this reason, many people report that their OCD was brought on by a bereavement. It is the stress and anxiety of grieving which are particularly difficult for those with a tendency for OCD and can trigger symptoms.
Understanding that grief is hard for everyone, but especially so for those with OCD is a good start on the road to recovery.
Acceptance of your grief, and the feelings that it brings can help. Learning healthy strategies to cope with your grief will lessen the need for OCD compulsions while grieving.
This link from the OCD Recovery Centre has some really good information about the feelings that you will encounter and how you can learn to cope with them but if you are having difficulties controlling obsessive behaviours, do get medical help.
Treatments may include medications and therapies such as CBT or cognitive behavioural therapy.
You can get CBT online these days which can be much more convenient than having to travel to see a therapist face to face, and it is completely confidential. We recommend the highly qualified expert counselors and psychologists at BetterHelp. See below.
Another treatment which people find helpful is hypnotherapy. You can do this yourself at home with Hypnotherapy Downloads which have been created by professional medical hypnotherapists. They have several specialising in OCD:
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