How to overcome superstitious thoughts in OCD ?

number thirteen

number thirteen

Superstition is a belief, which is not based on reason.

It is illogical.

For instance, while stepping out of home, if you encounter a black cat, you may feel it as bad omen.

A part of your mind tells you there is no reason and logic behind your fear. Cats do not have the ability to cause you harm. Yet, you try some ritual to neutralize this fear, like praying to god or returning to home.

Superstitions in human beings are not unusual.

They are quite common.

Very few people are an exception from superstitions. Superstitions may vary from place to place, but some superstitions are particular to certain locations. 

Some  superstitions are seen  all over the world like,

  • Black cat
  • Number 13
  • Broken mirror
  • Number 666
  • Lucky, unlucky numbers etc.

These are some superstitions that are found in India,

  • Eclipses ( solar , lunar )
  • Treating left leg and left hand as bad omen
  • Horoscope
  • Lemon and chillies charm
  • Eye twitching 
  • Sneezing, as bad omen etc.

Many of these superstitions had become a part of everyone’s life and most of us do not feel it is an abnormality.

Overcome superstitious thoughts in OCD:

Here are some superstitions that appear in OCD patients. 

All these superstitions may not appear in every OCD sufferer. These may vary from person to person.

OCD patients naturally suffer from these superstitions. The difference between normal superstitions and ocd superstitions is, ocd sufferers perform some rituals (Or compulsions) to prevent some impending harm. These rituals appease their anxiety temporarily.

These rituals can be

Numbers, words :

Believing certain numbers to be lucky, and performing every household task in that particular number of sets.

For instance, if a person believes 6 as his lucky number, he performs everything in multiples of six.

Believing certain numbers are unlucky, and avoiding them at all costs. When a person is afraid of number 7, he may try to avoid clicking channel on the remote. Instead he would try to click on 6 and move upwards.

Colors :

Avoiding certain colors like Black and Red.

Why some people are afraid of Red color?

  • Red is used in displaying danger signals, like in traffic lights. The reason is, Red is least scattered color, so it can travel most, through fog and rain.
  • Red color reminds us of blood. This could be another reason

symmetry :

book shelf

book shelf

Trying to keep everything in symmetrical order.

A person is suffering from OCD, while folding a bed sheet, may try to fold exactly in half.

If it is not folded exactly middle, he unfolds it and start from the beginning.

Or you may try keep everything in a particular order.

For instance,

  • pens on the table
  • cups and plates in kitchen
  • books in a shelf

If someone changes the order, they get  panicked.

Touching :

Some OCD sufferers try to touch an object for a particular number of times.

If he,  accidentally touches a chair with left hand, he again tries to touch it with right hand (believing, touching again neutralizes the evil impact). This may appear strange, to a person who is observing all this. 

All these OCD superstitions are different from the common superstitions spread over the world. These are peculiar, different, and vary from individual to individual. 


ocd nightmare

ocd nightmare

     OCD sufferers know that their worries and their rituals are logically not connected to each other.

They can understand that their rituals are silly and meaningless, yet the thought of “what if “drives them crazy. The thought of “If I don’t perform this ritual, something harm may happen to me” makes them crazy. By completing the rituals, they get the” temporary comfort or pleasure .”


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Here are some tips to overcome superstitious thoughts in OCD:

  1. understand and accept, your superstitions are the result of your OCD.
  2. Try to ignore your feelings and emotions. They mislead you. Trust your Reason.
  3. Engage yourself in activities, in which you are passionate.
  4. Avoid going cold turkey, instead try to overcome your superstitions one by one
  5. Create artificial superstitions
  6. visit a therapist





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