Has one of your friends or family members been diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)? Below, I explain what OCD is, and also offer tips for what you can do to support your loved one as they deal with this condition.
What Is OCD?
Obsessive-compulsive disorder causes someone to have recurring, unwanted thoughts and urges (obsessions) and/or perform repetitive actions (compulsions), often to the point where it impacts their quality of life. In many cases, people with OCD recognize that their thoughts and behaviors are excessive and unreasonable, yet they still can’t control them.
Tips for Supporting a Loved One With OCD
One of the best things you can do to help a friend or family member who’s living with obsessive-compulsive disorder is to learn about the condition, and by reading this article, you’re already taking a great first step. Here are additional tips for how to support a loved one who has OCD:
- Ask them about their personal experiences with the disorder, acknowledging that they may be different from other stories you’ve heard.
- Validate their feelings and clarify that you’re not judging them, even if their worries don’t make sense to you.
- Distract them from their thoughts and behaviors by taking them on a walk or watching a movie.
- Avoid accommodating them—for example, continuously reassuring them about their doubts or helping them repeatedly check something—since doing so can strengthen their obsessions and compulsions.
Learn More About OCD
If you have a loved one who’s struggling with obsessive-compulsive disorder, please reach out. I have extensive experience treating OCD, and once I have learned about your unique circumstances, I can supply you with personalized advice about what you can do to support your friend or family member.