OCD Chicago

Helping Someone You Love
Information for Friends and Family

Managing Your Emotions

Friends must understand that fighting OCD is no easy matter.  CBT therapy is hard work for the person who suffers with OCD as well as anyone who cares about them.  During the therapy process, anxiety levels not only increase for the person who has OCD, but friends’ and family members’ anxiety levels also can rise.  With increased anxiety may come heightened stress, frustration, conflict, exhaustion and feelings of failure.

If your friend has suffered with OCD for years, you shouldn’t expect them to get better right away. Some set-backs along the way are understandable.

As a friend, your support is very important. It may be hard to “sit on the sidelines” while your friend goes through emotional ups and downs. And you may have some emotional stress, too.  It’s natural for you to want things to return to normal, and quickly!  But you can’t hurry OCD therapy and, if you get overly involved in your friend’s life at this point, it really won’t help.

Friends often forget to take care of themselves when they are feeling the stress of their friend’s progress (or lack of it).  Try not to spend a lot of time worrying about how your friend is doing.  You can help by avoiding criticism, practicing patience and keeping an optimistic and understanding outlook and tone.

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