False memories through news cycle triggers

4 December 2017 - 21:52

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Hi there,

As we all know watching news is never good for ocd sufferers. But nevertheless, news is almost unavoidable as they are in our phones, radio, tv, workcplace, word of mouth.

Can you get false memories by watching news? For some reason i get severe anxiety from it especially the trending events. I seem to always try to associate myself in every bad news. If i read about hit and run, i then begin to ruminate on my driving history. The fact that i cant obviously go back to all my driving history makes me then question myself. Then in turn makes it feel so real and i start to get severely anxious. Same goes for other news topics like harassment, fraud, deception, family/friend relatipnships, etc.. its so tormenting.

5 December 2017 - 16:38

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Anyone?

5 December 2017 - 20:39

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Thanks Max. My concern is if its possible for news to trigger false memories too. Can OCD make a person associate to any news he/she watches? Even if we watch particular terrible news that we know we have nothing to do with, the fact that they are terrible it makes the thoughts and feelings so real.

This post has been thanked 2 times. 6 December 2017 - 18:37

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I am exactly the same. This recent news trend about sexual harassers and assaulters has caused me so much anxiety, and my OCD has been convincing me I've done things just as bad. From reading various forums and groups, it seems a lot of people are the same.

I remember one of the first things my psychologist told me was OCD latches onto what we fear the most, and this is usually linked to what is topical at the time. If something is in the news such as a hit and run, and we see people on social media or hear people in real life talking about it and how disgusting it is, in our minds this is now viewed as the worst thing someone can possibly be, and we fear becoming it. My psychologist gave an example of WW2 (I think it was), where one of the worst things you could be was a spy. There was a massive sort of witch hunt, and anyone who was suspected of being a spy was arrested, and everyone was on the hunt for them. Because of this, many people with OCD (I'm sure it wasn't recognised as OCD at this time) convinced themselves they were spies, and would read books in other languages to see if they recognised the language, to see if they were a spy (what is now known as a checking compulsion). I thought that was pretty interesting as it seems quite ridiculous thinking about it, because obviously if they were actually a spy they would remember it! but it is completely the same now! we are so driven by fear that something illogical becomes logical. Hope this helps a bit, it brought some reassurance to me when I first heard it  

7 December 2017 - 19:43

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Hi Dogsarecute, thanks for your detailed response. I am tormented. Some advise to refrain from consuming too much news as it causes severe triggers. But if i avoid them, i feel like i am just avoiding my fears and seem careless. On the other hand, some advice to still watch the news without feeding into the compulsions as sort of an exposure exercise. As sad as it is that many people go through this excrutiating ordeal, i do feel a bit of relief that i am not alone on this topic.

@Max, as always thanks for your helpful links! Yes, i read them and they are helpful.

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