False Memory OCD: It’s sign, main causes and treatment

In this blog we will read about the “False Memory OCD: It’s sign, main causes and treatment”

false memory ocd

False memory OCD is a mental disorder where a person is seen to have an obsession for the thoughts linked to such incidents or events that actually had not happened. It is like an incident could happen but in reality, it did not happen but the person is assuming the consequences in the second term as a reality.

False memory OCD can give rise to anxiety, distress and depression.

According to John Hershfield, a psychotherapist, “The event can be something that actually happened (but over which there is some confusion) or it can be something completely fabricated by the mind.”

False Memory OCD detailed explanation

Well, let’s just discuss it in simple words. False memory OCD can be explained as a condition that makes a person assume the probabilities and consequences of those events that do not exist in reality. For example, if you experienced such a situation where you could be a victim of a very big accident or you could even die but luckily you escaped.

Now your mind may be obsessed with sudden consequences inspired by that incident but totally in a false position. In one sentence, false memory OCD is a “what if” type situation.

A person’s obsessive thoughts and feelings are often fueled by the distress caused by false memories. It’s likely that they’ll give a lot of mental energy to remembering those times. They may start engaging in compulsive behaviors as a means of coping with the memories they are having, alleviating the feelings of guilt or anxiety that those memories are evoking. The more time and thought a person invests in remembering a specific event, the more specific and vivid the memory will become. 

An individual may be dealing with a single false memory at any given time, or they may be experiencing multiple false memories simultaneously. These false recollections can linger for a long time, even years. After a period of weeks, a false memory fades and is replaced by another. This process may continue indefinitely.

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What is to understand about False Memory OCD?

False recollections are one of the potential symptoms of OCD; nevertheless, there is no definitive kind of the disorder. 

You might have a false memory of something that took place years or months ago, or you might have a false memory of something that took place just today. 

In addition, the consumption of substances, such as alcohol or drugs, can result in the formation of erroneous memories. 

It’s possible that the obsessive thoughts that accompany the fabricated memories are linked to the fabrications of those memories themselves.

What causes false memories OCD?

We can elaborate about the formation of false memory. False memory has certain drives to be formed. 

It’s possible that faulty recall is a side effect of the brain’s intricate system for storing information and memories.

Here are some other factors we’ll underline that lead to false memory OCD. 

Immature Perception 

Creating a memory around an event depends on how accurately you perceived it. However, if your interpretation of the event is flawed or missing key details, your brain will improvise and create a fictitious recollection.

False Information 

If someone tells you something that isn’t true about a certain event, you might just accept it as fact. Your brain may then create a new memory of the event, or it may combine the artificial memory with an existing one.

Negative inner drives 

How and what you remember from past experiences can be greatly influenced by your feelings at the time. Studies have shown that unpleasant emotions, as opposed to neutral or pleasant ones, may contribute to the formation of more fictitious memories.


One of the most potent weapons in your arsenal is a well-crafted suggestion. Hearing certain phrases or questions can cause your mind to create a false memory. For instance, your brain may rewrite a memory to fit a different idea if you are asked a different inquiry about a certain occurrence. This can also occur if someone suggests a different aspect of the incident to you than the one you recall.

Faulty emergence 

You could potentially combine aspects of several events into one. 

When you try to recall the memory, you end up fusing together details from multiple events. The fact that this is now a unified memory in your head increases the likelihood that the sequence of events will become jumbled or otherwise confusing to you.

In other words, In theory, it is possible to combine aspects from a number of different instances. 

When you try to remember something, it is common for distinct aspects of the experience to become muddled in your mind. Because this is now a consolidated memory in your mind, the order of the occurrences is more likely to become jumbled or otherwise unclear to you. This is because this is now a memory that you have consolidated.


So, here we are with all about false memory OCD. We hope that the article dedicated to this specific topic will bring broad information to you.

Do let us know what you’re going through and how you’re handling all in the comment section below.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1) How can you tell if a memory is a false OCD?

When false memory OCD occurs, there come certain signs. One type of thought that can cause a person to form a false memory is an intrusive thought. 
False memory OCD symptoms frequently include increased anxiety. It is possible to develop obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) as a result of having an obsession, which is a recurring thought that won’t leave your mind.
This form of OCD also manifests itself through avoidance. Similarly, compulsions are important in false memory OCD. Actions that you feel compelled to repeat over and over again are known as compulsions. Many people with false memory OCD also report difficulty falling or staying asleep.
Separation Anxiety, Alterations in Appetite and Mood, Exhaustion, etc. are some other factors that can lead to false memory OCD. If memory is inspired by all these, it can be identified as a false memory OCD. 

Q2) What mental illness causes false memories?

Memories that seem real but aren’t based in reality are called false memories. Due to the fact that the human brain does not typically record events with the granular accuracy of a device, everyone occasionally experiences false memories. But, fact is yes false memories are formed by some unwanted and unpleasant events. Negative thought processes are one of the most vital mental illnesses that lead to false memory OCD. It is a person’s assumption regarding any condition. If a person is having faulty perception, it may be a big cause behind the formation of false memories that further give rise to false memory OCD. 

Q3) How do you fight false memory OCD?

Before fighting against any disease or mental illness, we need to find out the motivational drives causing that specific problem. As the causes behind false memory OCD are quite certain and hence there are coping techniques that people can apply if they have this faulty condition. The very initial step that we should take against false memory OCD is that we should not let ourselves be overruled by negative thoughts. 
We have to escape from being a victim of those events that are unpleasant or regretful. It will be a great obstacle if we do not stop ourselves from thinking about unpleasant events or assuming the negative consequences that could happen. 
Meditation is the best way to boost your positive energy. Choose an environment where positivity is spread. Remember, we see what our mind shows and our mind shows what our thought process is going through. Hence, feed your mind with healthy ideas. Do not think about past events because those events are gone to never return.

Q4) What causes false memory syndrome?

The very primitive cause behind false memory is faulty thought processes. If our brain starts assuming the consequences of those events that do not exist in reality, the formation of false memory starts. Basically, unpleasant and painful events are the fundamental cause behind false memory OCD. The past events where we had to suffer from moments of embarrassment or pain, we never want to see them again. Our fear of seeing them again leads us to think about that event again and again. Alternatively, we start assuming the consequences of what could be done and what could not be. This makes a whole scenario of false memory OCD.

Robert Cole

With four years of dedicated writing experience in the health domain, Robert is a passionate and seasoned writer. His commitment to conveying complex health topics reflects not only his expertise but also his genuine enthusiasm for educating and informing readers about crucial aspects of well-being.

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