I have recently developed a fear of my loved ones dying. I guess this was brought on by the fact that my best friend of 9 years, who was living with me, died on Christmas (2 months ago) and very horribly (she fell off the roof of a house). If my husband isn't home at a certain time, I have horrible images flash through my head of a car wreck, etc. Also, if someone calls me after a certain time (say 11pm), I freak out because I know if someone is calling late, it is usually bad news-- such as someone I love is dying.
I know my OCD magnifies my fears. What do I do? It's tearing me apart! How do I deal with this?
I once had a powerful fear of electrical storms; I got over them by spending increasingly long periods of time on my outside porch viewing them. At first, I couldn't stand the anxiety for more than a few minutes at a time, but slowly the fear receded, and I was able to observe the storms for their entire duration. Today I'm undisturbed by electrical storms; I guess what I'm saying is that if you desensitize yourself over a long period of time then you can overcome almost any fear.
Read up on desensitization techniques and put them into practice; of course, you'll be limited to imagining your loved one's death vs actually going through the experience. Still I think guided imagery incorporating desensitization techniques will work wonders for you too.
Thanks a lot for your advice. I do often imagine my husband dying and I get so filled with emotion that I start to sob uncontrollably.. I guess the point is to get to the point where when I think about it, I am not so easy to panic and freak out.
Also, I have recently noticed an obsession to my dead friend. I often have conversations with "her" in my head(or atleast I pretend it's her, sometimes I am not so sure) and when I see something of her's, I have to kiss it. Help?
Last edited by PinkNBlondePunk; 03-02-2008 at 02:43 PM.
I can relate to what you are feeling. I do this often, I have a horrible fear/obsession of loved ones dying as well. I know this comes from the fact that my dad dies when I was 10 years old (now 31)...I have thoughts of my husband dying and I too can cry very easily at the thought. My husband drives a truck for a living and I often have images of him crashing in my head....and I gets lots of anxiety due to this. I agree, that desensitization is the key. Do you go for CBT therapy?? I do, and take luvox and it works sooo well.......you are not alone!!!
First off I want to say that Im sorry that you lost your best friend..
I found that depression and stress can trigger my OCD...But also OCD can trigger depression and stress..It's always a catch..You have to remember that your going through the greiving process right now..And OCD has a way with playing with that..I go through the bouts of fears of losing my husband, kids, and my mother..But that obsession got really bad when a family member passed a couple of days before this past Thanksgiving..He was only 39..It was a senseless death due to drugs...Through the New Year I was drilling into my daughters head about the dangers of drugs..She is only 11, but I took this sad situation and turned into a learning experience for her...
For those of us with OCD every thought,obsession is blown up to it's fullest!! We think, think, think, and torture ourselfs with the "what if's" and it is a horrible way to live..I find that for me just letting that obsession run it's way makes it easier than fighting it...Just don't give it the power..I know thats hard..Im sure that once you accepted your friends death, your obsessions of losing family members will ease up..I know that worked for me...
Yes, it's ok to talk to your friend in your head..Talk outloud to her if you want!! This is part of the healing process...Talking will ease the depression and anxiety...
I'm glad I found this post. I have not been dx with OCD but for the last couple years I have been going through extreme bouts of depression - usually triggered by this same fear. And also a fear of getting old. I'm 39 (so maybe the big 40 is lingering in the back of my mind or something, but I don't think it's that).
I'm sorry you lost your best friend. I can't even imagine how that must feel. I go through this morbid thinking too - imagining what it would be like if my kids suddenly died, my husband, my parents. I also have been going though endless thoughts of getting old and wondering how I will cope when the kids are grown, my parents are gone, etc. It leaves a hollow pit in my stomach and an ache in my heart that I can't seem to let go of. I try to occupy myself, but I'm alone a lot and I have too many thoughts like this. I've also developed an obsession on someone I know - which is probably the worst feeling I've ever had. This came one right about a time when I was feeling "different" than usual (about a year and a half ago). Why can't we just enjoy the moment for what it is? I am always thinking into the future, into the past, having morbid thoughts. I want to be happy watching my children grow up, growing old with my husband. But in the back of my mind, I can't stop the intrusive thoughts of death.
I have begun to realize that our time here on Earth is short - it's just a passage of time. I have these weird thoughts sometimes like maybe this life is really just a dream. How do we know?
My worst fears are that my kids will suffer drug abuse or alcohol abuse (it runs rampant in our family). We don't drink (anymore) and we try to teach our kids the best way we know how. I honestly don't know what I would do if one of my kids was suddenly taken from me....well, this has now started a flood of emotion that I need to rid myelf of.
The worst part about this whole thing is that I desperately want to be close to someone (my husband) but for some reason I can't seem to get to that level. I wonder if my fear of aging, dying, and all that is causing me to close off.
I wish I knew more about what this is all about. Need to see a psychologist -but half the time I feel ok. The other half I feel like I either have Borderline, Bipolar, Depression, or OCD. Maybe it's just a mid life crisis - maybe I'll eventually learn to live in the moment again.
Good luck to you. You ask, how do you deal with this? I wish I had an answer for you. I need to heed my own advice here. Go to therapy. Give of yourself to your kids and people you love. Stay active. Let yourself cry over the loss of your friend. Remember to try to stay in the moment.
By the way, my mother in law died on Christmas Day 2006. I wasn't close to her really, but I think somehow this death triggered my obsessions with dying and everything else. It just really makes us think about our own mortality - we know in our reasonable mind that we are mortal - we will die one day. But somehow when it really sinks in, it can be intensely painful. The day it happens, maybe it will be easy - but to think about it is difficult.