OCD and Grief: How to Deal with the Mental Roller Coaster?

ocd and grief

It’s been said that grief is like an onion: it has many layers. The same can be said for OCD. When you experience a loss, the OCD may become worse. You may feel like you are on a mental roller coaster, with emotions ranging from sadness and anger to guilt and anxiety. It can be hard to cope with all of these feelings, but you don’t have to do it alone. In this blog post, we will discuss how to deal with OCD and grief.

What Does Grief Mean?

what does grief mean

Grief is a multifaceted response to loss, particularly to the loss of someone or something that has died, to which a bond or affection was formed. Although conventionally focused on the emotional response to loss, it also has physical, cognitive, behavioral, social, and philosophical dimensions. Grief is most commonly associated with death.

What Does Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Mean?

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder characterized by obsessions (recurrent, unwanted thoughts, images, or urges) and/or compulsions (repetitive behaviors or mental acts that a person feels compelled to do to ease their anxiety). Many people with OCD experience both obsessions and compulsions. OCD can be a very debilitating disorder, causing significant distress and impairment in everyday functioning.

How Can OCD Impact Grief Symptoms?

How Can OCD Impact Grief Symptoms

While the impact of OCD on grief symptoms can vary from person to person, there are some common ways that OCD can influence the grieving process. For instance, people with OCD may have difficulty accepting that their loved one is gone. Additionally, people with OCD may fixate on certain aspects of their loved one’s death, such as the cause of death or the circumstances surrounding the death. This fixation can make it difficult for people with OCD to move on from their grief.

How Can Grief Impact OCD Symptoms?

Just as OCD can influence grief symptoms, grief can also influence OCD symptoms. For example, people with OCD may find that their obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors increase after the death of a loved one. Additionally, people with OCD may struggle to cope with the change in routine that often accompanies the death of a loved one. Finally, people with OCD may find that their obsessions and compulsions are triggered by reminders of their loved one’s death.

What Causes The Link Between OCD And Grief?

How Can OCD Impact Grief Symptoms (1)

There are several possible explanations for the link between OCD and grief. Now we understand that grief is a multi-faceted and complicated experience, it makes sense that OCD might target some of the same mental processes. For example, both grief and OCD can involve:

Intrusive Thoughts

Unwanted, distressing thoughts that seem to pop into your head out of nowhere. These thoughts can be about anything that might be distressing, such as the fear of losing someone you love.

Difficulty Concentrating

It can be hard to focus on anything else when you’re grieving. You may find yourself spacing out or forgetting what you were doing. This can also happen with OCD, especially if your thoughts are particularly distressing.

Avoidance Behaviors

When we’re grieving, we often try to avoid anything that reminds us of the person we’ve lost. This might mean avoiding places they used to go, to or not talking about them with other people. People with OCD may also avoid certain situations or objects that trigger their obsessions.


Trying to avoid anything that might trigger or remind you of your loss. This can include people, places, activities, conversations, and thoughts.


Doing things a certain way or in a certain order to try to control your distress or prevent something bad from happening. For example, you may wash your hands over and over again after shaking someone’s hand out of fear of getting sick.

In addition to these shared mental processes, there are also some specific reasons why OCD and grief might become linked. For example:

  • You may have experienced a traumatic loss, such as the death of a loved one. This can increase your risk of developing OCD.
  • You may have had OCD before you experienced your loss. This can make it more likely that your grief will trigger your OCD symptoms.
  • You may be struggling to accept your loss. This can lead you to fixate on certain thoughts or behaviors in an attempt to control the situation.

What Are Some Ways To Cope With Grief And OCD?

What Are Some Ways To Cope With Grief And OCD

It can be extremely difficult to cope with both grief and OCD at the same time. The mental roller coaster can feel never-ending, and it’s important to find ways to deal with both emotions healthily. Here are a few suggestions:

Talk To Someone Who Understands

It can be helpful to talk to someone who has gone through similar experiences. They can offer support and understanding that you may not be able to find elsewhere.

Find A Therapist

A therapist can help you work through your emotions in a safe and supportive environment. They can also provide coping techniques specifically for OCD and grief.

If you want help with grief and OCD, then book a consultation with our experts today through our website of Mantra Care. During the consultation, you will be able to ask any questions that you may have and get helpful tips on how to deal with them.

Join a support group

There are often support groups available for those dealing with mental illness. This can be a great way to meet other people who understand what you’re going through.

Talk To Your Doctor

Your doctor can help you manage your medications and make sure that you’re staying healthy. They can also refer you to resources if you need more help.

OCD and grief are both difficult emotions to deal with, but there are ways to cope. Find what works for you and don’t be afraid to ask for help when needed.


In conclusion, I want to say that it is normal to feel like you are on a mental roller coaster when you are grieving. Your emotions will be all over the place and your thoughts may be racing. However, if you find that your symptoms are interfering with your ability to function in day-to-day life, it is important to seek professional help. There are many resources available to help you deal with your OCD and grief healthily.

If you are looking for affordable Online OCD Counseling MantraCare can help: Book a trial OCD therapy session

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