Why Do OCD Thoughts Feel So Real

OCD, or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, is a mental health condition that is characterized by persistent and unwanted thoughts, images, or impulses (also known as obsessions) and repetitive behaviors or mental acts (known as compulsions). These obsessions and compulsions can significantly interfere with an individual’s daily life and can cause distress, anxiety, and even shame. So, now why do OCD thoughts feel so real.

OCD thoughts can feel extremely real to those experiencing them. In this article,  we’ll explore the reasons behind why OCD thoughts can feel so intense and all-consuming.

Read more to get further details.

Why Do OCD Thoughts Feel So Real?

The reasons of why OCD thoughts feel so real are given below:

Power of Mind

One of the main reasons why OCD thoughts can feel so real is because they are created and fueled by our minds. Our brains are powerful organs that have the ability to create vivid and detailed thoughts, feelings, and sensations.

This means that for individuals with OCD, their minds can produce intense and distressing thoughts that seem almost impossible to ignore. These thoughts can feel so real because they are coming from our own minds, making it difficult to distinguish them from reality.

Cognitive Distortion

Another factor that contributes to the intensity of OCD thoughts is cognitive distortion. This refers to the exaggerated and distorted ways in which individuals perceive their thoughts and experiences. Those with OCD may engage in a type of thinking known as “catastrophizing”, in which they view their obsessions as catastrophic or life-threatening.

For example, someone with a fear of germs may catastrophize by thinking that touching a doorknob without washing their hands will lead to them contracting a deadly disease. This type of distorted thinking can make OCD thoughts feel even more real and urgent, causing individuals to engage in compulsive behaviors to try and alleviate their fears.

Fear and Anxiety

OCD thoughts can also feel incredibly real because they often stem from a place of fear and anxiety. Those with OCD may experience intense feelings of fear when faced with their obsessions, causing them to believe that these thoughts must be true or hold some significance.

Furthermore, the relief that comes from performing compulsive behaviors can reinforce the belief that these thoughts were valid and necessary. This cycle of fear, anxiety, and relief can make OCD thoughts feel even more real and difficult to ignore.

Lack of Control

One of the most distressing aspects of OCD is the feeling of being out-of-control when it comes to one’s thoughts and behaviors. Individuals with OCD may feel like they have no choice but to engage in their compulsions, even if they know deep down that these behaviors are not rational or necessary.

This lack of control can make OCD thoughts feel even more real and overwhelming. The constant battle between trying to resist the thoughts and eventually giving into them can also contribute to the intensity of these obsessive thoughts.

How Do You Deal With Intrusive OCD thoughts?

While OCD thoughts can feel overwhelming and all-consuming, there are ways to cope with them. Some strategies for dealing with intrusive OCD thoughts include:

Seeking professional help:

A mental health professional can provide support and guidance in managing OCD symptoms and developing coping strategies.

Practicing mindfulness:

Mindfulness techniques, such as deep breathing or meditation, can help individuals become more aware of their thoughts and learn to observe them without judgment.

Challenging distorted thinking:

Working with a therapist can help individuals identify and challenge cognitive distortions that contribute to the intensity of OCD thoughts.

Engaging in exposure therapy:

This type of therapy involves gradually exposing oneself to the feared obsession or situation, allowing the individual to learn how to tolerate the discomfort and anxiety associated with their thoughts.

Developing a support system:

Connecting with others who also experience OCD can provide a sense of understanding and validation, making it easier to cope with intrusive thoughts.


In conclusion, May people have question, why do OCD thoughts feel so real? OCD thoughts can feel incredibly real due to the power of our minds, cognitive distortions, fear and anxiety, and a lack of control. However, with the right support and coping strategies, it is possible to manage these intrusive thoughts and live a fulfilling life despite having OCD.

Remember to be patient with yourself and seek help if needed.  So keep fighting  and know that you are not alone in this journey.  Seek help, find support, and always remember that you are more than your OCD thoughts.


Frequently asked questions by people are mentioned below:

Can OCD make you feel things that aren’t real?

OCD can cause individuals to perceive things differently or have intense feelings and sensations that may not be based in reality. This can be a result of cognitive distortions and the power of our minds in creating thoughts and perceptions.

How do I stop believing my OCD thoughts?

It can be challenging to simply stop believing OCD thoughts, as they may feel very real and urgent. Seeking professional help, practicing mindfulness, and engaging in exposure therapy can all be helpful strategies in managing and reducing the power of these intrusive thoughts.

Why are OCD thoughts so weird?

OCD thoughts can seem strange or bizarre because they are often irrational and do not align with an individual’s true beliefs or values. These thoughts may also stem from a place of fear and anxiety, making them feel even more unusual and distressing.

What to do when OCD thoughts come true?

It is important to remember that OCD thoughts are not based in reality and are not a form of premonition. Seeking help from a therapist can be crucial in managing these thoughts and developing coping strategies to reduce their impact on daily life.

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