For Friends and Family

OCD can be very straining on all different types of relationships. One of the most important things to remember is that people with OCD are people too. People with OCD generally have a higher IQ, when possible allow them to make their own choices. Treat them how you would want to be treated. People who suffer from OCD can often be isolative. If someone you know is suffering from OCD and hasn’t talked to you in awhile don’t be afraid to be the one who reaches out to them. The most important thing is to be supportive and encouraging. Don’t be to hard on them. Odds are they’re harder on themselves than you could ever imagine.

However, it is very important that you do not in anyway enable their behavior when possible. The more you enable them the worse their OCD will get. I know it is instinct to try and help the person suffering from OCD. Enabling them is just going to end up making things worse for them. One of the worst things you can do is answer their reassurance seeking questions.

Another important thing for friends and family to know is to not be afraid to help advocate for them. Don’t be afraid to help them seek a second opinion, get the best treatment possible, or fight for their rights. If someone with OCD is being mistreated in an inpatient facility don’t be afraid to bring it up to the persons social worker. They should know the proper steps to take in that situation.

Last, it is important to know that people suffering from OCD can be more stressed out and depressed. If they get over agitated with you or do something rude try not to take it personally. Remember they are going through a rough time. Again, to help with this it is important to acknowledge how they feel, listen to them, and treat them with respect. However, someone having OCD is not an excuse for anyone to treat you poorly.


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