An Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Guide For Couples (ROCD)

An Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Guide For Couples (ROCD)

An Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Guide For Couples (ROCD)

An Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Guide For Couples (ROCD)

What is Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder in Relationships, and how does it affect me?

Do you worry about your relationship and question if you (or your spouse) made the correct choice when you decided to spend your lives together? It is common to have occasional worries and relationship misgivings from time to time.





Do you suspect that you may be suffering from ROCD?

Obsessing on the probable collapse of a relationship and consistently worrying that your relationship is doomed, on the other hand, is not healthy, and it may put you in a state of stress that can put a strain on current relationships or cause you to want to avoid partnerships entirely. In this post, we will explore Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder in Relationships (ROCD). 




We also present solutions for coping with this potentially debilitating and life-altering relationship illness, as well as opportunities for seeking counseling online. Let’s start with the fundamentals.



The Basics of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder in Relationships

There is a subgroup of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) that, according to the most recent DSM 5 diagnostic, manifests itself as maladaptive ideas regarding relationship patterns.




The term for this condition is “relationship obsessive-compulsive disorder” (ROCD). OCD is a mental health illness that is widely misunderstood in which patients experience obsessions and compulsions at the same time. 



As opposed to a fixation, obsessions are frequently recurring, anxiety-inducing patterns of thinking that revolve around certain themes — and as such, they may be very difficult to dismiss. 



They may develop to the point that they cause individuals to have an exaggerated or skewed perception of how terrible or painful the object of their fixation is. 



Compulsions are compulsive and difficult-to-control urges toward particular behaviors or routines that, in the person’s opinion, may alleviate some of the tension or anxiety caused by their obsessive thoughts. 


Compulsions are not the same as obsessions. A person who is extremely concerned about the risk of leaving the stove turned on would do a ritualistic check of all the knobs on it every few hours, even if the stove hasn’t been used.




In certain cases, non-OCD diseases are regarded to reside on a continuum of shared characteristics with OCD, such as body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), eating disorders, and a few other disorders marked by impulsivity and obsessiveness.



 Relationship obsessive-compulsive disorder (ROCD) is not one of these illnesses; rather, it is simply OCD with a relationship-centered emphasis, in which persons have obsessions and compulsions that are related to their romantic or sexual relationships.



 Relationship OCD, on the other hand, may be comorbid with some of them, which may make diagnosis difficult and psychologically demanding for the individual who is presenting with ROCD.




The symptoms of OCD often have a consistent pattern in how they express themselves in various people — this is known as a ‘theme’.

Those suffering with ROCD have challenges with constantly and compulsively questioning their spouse, themselves, and their connections in this situation, among other things. 



There is a fight with their sense of value as well as with the notion that the relationship should (or should) terminate suddenly for reasons beyond their control. This disproportionate emphasis on personal connections may be very stressful and anxiety-inducing.




The other component of this two-faceted relationship disease is that, although someone suffering from relationship OCD may be concerned about the consequences of being in a relationship in which they may feel unworthy, they are far more concerned by the prospect of being alone.


 People suffering with ROCD often report having contradicting and concurring thoughts regarding their romantic relationships, and as a consequence, they develop an obsession.


People with ROCD are preoccupied by their relationship thoughts, but those without ROCD may view them as passing worries throughout the day.


 It is fortunate that recognizing the symptoms and patterns that accompany ROCD may assist skilled mental health professionals in recognizing that a person is experiencing the stress and concern that comes with this relationship-based type of obsessive-compulsive disorder. 



ROCD is characterized by symptoms that are focused on the relationship rather than on other aspects of one’s life.



Living with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder in a Relationship

Images, ideas, and impulses that all revolve around the connection serve as the basis for these ruminations.


 The individual suffering from ROCD may become debilitated as a result of these repeating thoughts and activities around the connection, since thoughts about the relationship might occupy their whole existence.



As reported by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), the following are a few instances of obsessive thinking connected with ROCD:




The effects of being alone are overestimated.

Overestimation of the ramifications of divorce.
The disadvantages of being in the wrong relationship are overestimated.


Using questions that are widely used in circumstances when one partner is having ROCD, they further breakdown these three categories into scenarios.




Being alone would be very painful for me and everyone in my immediate vicinity.


The prospect of going through life without a spouse makes me feel sick to my stomach.


I feel that love connections are the most essential thing in life.
You should get treatment from a competent mental health professional if you find yourself continually worrying about your romantic relationships to the point that it is interfering with your daily life, or if you see yourself in the instances above and believe it is time to seek help.

New Cheating Trends Inside Infidelity

People who are suffering with ROCD may find that having heart-to-heart chats with close friends and family members might help them cope emotionally. 



Although it is possible to get to the basis of obsessive behavior and associated symptoms via chats with a friend or family member, it is uncommon.




Board-certified and highly educated experts, licensed professional counselors and therapists are well-versed in how to properly minimize the unpleasant symptoms of mental illness and mental health-related problems by using empirically supported treatment techniques.




Symptoms of a ROCD

The symptoms of ROCD are mostly focused on interpersonal relationships. It is possible for ROCD symptoms to become debilitating when clients become preoccupied with the health of their relationships on a continuous basis. 



As the individual experiencing the symptoms spirals into a more obsessive state of mind, this is particularly true if they do not seek treatment for the disease.



Initially seen as a little problem may develop into obsessive thoughts and compulsive actions related to the issue, which can be quite unpleasant for the individual. What was previously considered a minor issue can develop into obsessive thoughts and compulsive activities about the issue. 



Additionally, people suffering from ROCD may hold unrealistic beliefs about what a “ideal” relationship looks like, such as the belief that an ongoing romantic relationship should remain unchanged over time or the belief that an ongoing romantic relationship should always be worry-free and fully passionate.




ROCD may be classified into two categories: relationship-centered ROCD and partner-focused ROCD. The fixation with the quality of the relationship itself and the purity of the love that one or both partners experience are characteristics of relationship-centered obsessions. The quality of the non-ROCD partner’s features and characteristics, on the other hand, is the emphasis of partner-focused obsessive-compulsive disorder (PCOD).




When one of the relationship partners is continuously second-guessing their love for their partner and continually seeks reinforcement and reassurance that the relationship should continue, it is possible that they are suffering from relationship obsessive-compulsive disorder (ROCD). 



ROCD patients often feel unworthy of their lover’s affections and are concerned that their relationship may abandon them.




When someone has ROCD, they may have excessive anxiety over their partner’s compatibility with them as well as ongoing concern about whether or not the relationship is suitable for them. 




It is possible for someone suffering from ROCD to believe that their spouse is not “the one,” even after having been together for a lengthy period of time and without any specific occurrence to trigger the anxiety. They may be unable to think about anything else other than their love relationships.



People suffering from ROCD may also experience compulsions that drive them to perform actions such as repeatedly and ritualistically checking on their partner’s well-being, performing mental “tests” to determine whether or not they love their partners enough, performing mental “tests” to determine whether or not their partner is sufficiently attractive, intelligent, good-natured, or otherwise suitable for the individual.





 These obsessive actions may or may not accurately represent people’s sentiments about their relationships — and the person may rationally recognize that their spouse is “good enough” — but they are habits that are difficult to break free from once they have begun.




In addition to causing poor conditions in other aspects of a person’s life, repetitive thoughts and obsessive activities may exacerbate the person’s disease by making it seem even worse. Occasionally, non-OCD partners in a ROCD relationship may also suffer symptoms associated with the disorder, since they may be unsure of their own self-worth and worth (both inside and outside the relationship).





When one spouse is always focused on the other, it might leave other important elements of the couple’s lives ignored, such as their careers, their homes, and their children. 




This is especially true when it comes to parenting. As a result of the individual with ROCD being absorbed with thoughts about the relationship, his or her family relationships and work performance may deteriorate as well.




The Different Types of OCD Therapy for Relationship Obsessions and Compulsions




Now that you’re aware of the signs and symptoms of ROCD, we’ll move on to discussing ways to alleviate the symptoms and reduce the negative consequences of the condition on your lifestyle.



 To address this new DSM-5 diagnostic, board-certified and licensed therapists today are using three different forms of treatment.




Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a kind of therapy that uses cognitive and behavioral techniques to help people overcome difficulties (CBT)

In cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), clients are taught to recognize the triggers of negative behavior and how to substitute new behaviors for the old ones. 



According to the premise that individuals respond adversely or favorably in response to their perception of their surroundings, this brain-based treatment is used to treat depression and anxiety disorders. Changing negative views, according to the principles of cognitive-behavioral therapy, may likewise modify (or eliminate) unpleasant reactions to the environment, as shown in the case of the patient.




The use of Exposure Therapy in conjunction with Response Prevention is becoming more popular (ERP)

A progressive kind of treatment, exposure therapy gradually exposes persons suffering from mental health issues to the stimuli that causes them to experience symptoms. The participants in exposure treatment are progressively introduced to the item or circumstance that they are afraid of, and they are guided through the procedure until their negative reaction to the event is decreased or eliminated.




Cognitive Therapy with an emphasis on mindfulness (MBCT)

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and mindfulness-based therapy (MBT) are two types of treatment that are combined to make MBCT (CBT). Thus, a sort of treatment is developed that combines mindfulness practices with cognitive processes in order to get optimal results. In other words, being more conscious of your ideas and actively altering your thoughts by adopting new actions or responses is the goal.




Counseling Services in Your Area

Therapy alternatives for those who suffer from relationship OCD are now many and varied. To get guidance, support, and resources for medication management, ROCD clients may attend sessions with conventional in-office therapists or online therapists.



 Customers with ROCD, regardless of the treatment option they pick, must adhere to all of the components of their treatment plan if they are to effectively manage or battle the symptoms of ROCD. 



Their lives are likely to be dominated by ongoing treatment sessions with qualified specialists at this point.




Many individuals choose online treatment alternatives such as video, SMS, and phone chat because they are new to the concept of continuing therapy in their life. 



Attending joint and individual treatment sessions in the seclusion of their own homes, workplaces, or other private venues may be beneficial for couples who are struggling with the impacts of obsessive-compulsive relationship disorder.

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