There are times when my OCD is at an especially rough place that I have OCD dreams.
It’s not that I can’t sleep (though I have been there before). It’s that I will be sleeping and then will start having dreams that feature OCD themes. Obsessions. Compulsions. Contamination. Other fears.
Back when my contamination OCD was really bad, I remember one specific night when I woke up in the middle of the night, afraid, filled with anxiety, feeling like I had to go and perform a specific compulsion. It was as if the OCD had invaded my sleeping brain and implanted obsessions and fears into my dream, creating new issues and “reminding” me of things that had happened that it then decided demanded my immediate attention.
In that one case, I think I woke up convinced that I had to go clean my son’s carseat because of possible dirtiness from bodily waste. I felt compelled to spray it with disinfectant before we took him to school, just to be safe.
Lately, I had another OCD dream. My husband and I now know that, if OCD is showing up in my dreams, things are not going so well. I can’t remember specifics now, but it again involved some kind of sickness or contamination that I was exposed to, which triggered my OCD and need to clean or perform specific compulsions.
I’m not sure if having “OCD dreams” is a common occurrence for other people. Maybe it’s just me who finds my subconscious hacked occasionally by the obsessive compulsive disorder. It is truly terrible, though, because sleep is sometimes the only respite I get from having to deal with OCD and its sometimes constant presence, and when it begins to invade and steal even that from me, it’s awful. It makes the next day even harder to handle because I’m starting off even more tired and worn down that I should be.
I’d love to hear if you ever have “OCD dreams.” I’m really curious if it’s just something I have or if it’s a universal symptom of OCD run amuck.