Helping Someone You Love
Information for Friends and Family

When Someone You Love Has OCD

If you feel frustrated, angry, overwhelmed or hopeless, you are not alone.

Today there are new and better strategies for coping with OCD.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) affects millions of people in the U.S.  If one of those people is someone you love, you know that the impact of OCD reaches far beyond the person who has been diagnosed with this disorder.

Much has been written about OCD and its treatment.  Much less has been written about the spouses, families and friends who must watch a loved one suffer, and who must also live with the effects of the disorder every day.  This section of our web site is a guide for you—to help you effectively help your loved one gain control over OCD—and restore relationships that have been strained by the demands and heartbreak of this disorder.

Steps To A Better Life

Life with a person who has OCD is filled with conflicting emotions.  If you feel frustrated, angry, overwhelmed or hopeless, you are not alone.  Today there are new and better strategies to apply to OCD-related situations.  Families and friends can now take advantage of “tools” that are effective in improving interactions and, at the same time, can help in the treatment process for the OCD sufferer.

First Things First

Some very important steps to help your loved one begin with you:

Learn about OCD

You will need to understand what your loved one goes through with this frequently debilitating disorder.  We recommend you visit the OCD Facts, Individuals, or Parents section of this web site for more information about:

  • Who is affected by OCD
  • What OCD is (and what OCD isn’t)
  • What causes OCD (and what doesn’t cause it)
  • What OCD symptoms are—obsessions and compulsions, with examples
  • What related conditions may complicate OCD or exist with OCD
  • What kind of treatment is recommended
  • Treatment challenges, resistance and recovery avoidance
  • Medication information

You can access the OCD Facts, Individuals and Parents sections through the Home page of this web site, or through these links:

Become a Catalyst for Change

We urge you to follow these guidelines:

  • Encourage and help your loved one get treatment for OCD.  Effective treatment is the most important step in gaining relief.
  • Stop enabling OCD in your household or in your relationship.  Participating in rituals or accommodating avoidance behavior actually does not help.  The effect can be just the opposite.

If this sounds easier said than done, we understand your skepticism.  OCD Chicago’s mission is to help people with OCD get relief, and to help their families and friends develop the key skills to become agents of change—and help to make dramatic improvements for everyone in the life of an OCD sufferer. The following sections will help you get started:

More Ways You Can Help Fight OCD

You can help to bring information and education to people who have OCD and to the people who can make a difference in the quality of their lives—including family and friends, educators, clergy and the media.

Click here to see how you can help

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