Living with someone who has OCD can be difficult. It’s important to know what to expect and how to best support your loved one. In this blog post, we will discuss some of the basics of living with someone who has OCD. We will cover topics such as understanding OCD, managing expectations, and dealing with triggers. If you are currently living with someone who has OCD or is considering doing so, we hope this information is helpful!
- 1 How Does It Feel Like Living With Someone With OCD?
- 2 Things To Do While Living With Someone With OCD
- 2.1 Identify The Signals
- 2.2 Do Not Over Expect
- 2.3 Appreciate Little Efforts
- 2.4 Avoid Comparing Daily Progress
- 2.5 Maintain A Positive Environment
- 2.6 Set Limits But With Sensitivity
- 2.7 Keep The Communication Simple
- 2.8 Encourage Them To Talk To A Therapist
- 2.9 Support Taking Medications
- 2.10 Encourage Healthy Ways
- 3 Conclusion
How Does It Feel Like Living With Someone With OCD?
Living with someone with OCD can be extremely difficult, and it can take a toll on your own mental health. It’s important to understand how the disorder works and how you can best support your loved one.
OCD is an anxiety disorder that is characterized by obsessions and compulsions. Obsessions are intrusive, unwanted thoughts, images, or impulses that cause anxiety or distress. Compulsions are repetitive behaviors or mental rituals that someone feels compelled to do in order to relieve their anxiety.
If you’re living with someone with OCD, the feeling of being constantly on edge is probably all too familiar. Moreover, you might feel like you’re walking on eggshells, afraid to do anything that could trigger your loved one’s OCD.
Therefore, in order to strengthen the relationship between an individual who is living with someone with OCD. It is important to learn more about the disorder and how you can best support your loved one.
Things To Do While Living With Someone With OCD
It is essential to learn how to live with someone with OCD. Here are some things that family members can do while living with someone with OCD;
Identify The Signals
When you are living with someone with OCD, it is important to be able to identify the signals that they are about to have an episode. This way, you can be prepared and help them through it. These signals even are warning signs that are a must to watch out for. Moreover, by identifying the signals, you will also be able to help your loved ones avoid their triggers.
Some of the common signals or warning signs that indicate that an OCD episode is about to happen are;
- Doing some things repetitively
- Checking things again and again
- Arranging things in a particular order
- Washing hands too often
- Increased concerns for minor changes
- Severe reactions or mild reactions to dirt, germs, or contamination
- Appearing restless or fidgety
- Excessive worry about getting things done on time
People who have OCD are believed to be perfectionists. As a result, they often have a hard time dealing with change. Some people with OCD also tend to withdraw from social activities and isolate themselves. So, if you notice any sudden changes in your loved one’s behavior, it could be an indication that they are about to have an OCD episode.
Do Not Over Expect
Family members often start to expect many things from their loved ones with OCD. Which in turn creates more pressure and anxiety for the sufferers. One should not over expect from their loved ones, as it will only make things worse. For someone who has OCD, it is already difficult to accept the small changes. And above that, family members’ expectations can be really suffocating.
For example, instead of saying, “I expect you to be tidier,” try, “I would appreciate it if you could try to be tidier.” This way, your loved ones will not feel like they’re being pushed too hard and they might actually try to do better. You should remind yourself that changes take time, so be patient.
Appreciate Little Efforts
A person with OCD is not doing the dishes because they don’t care about you. They may have a fear of contamination and this is their way of trying to protect you. It may seem small, but try to appreciate the little things they do to help out around the house. Because it really does take a lot of effort for them to do anything that involves potential germs.
Acknowledgment of these small efforts can go a long way. As this is believed to be a powerful tool that encourages them to move further. Fighting against OCD is a battle and any progress, no matter how small should be celebrated. In addition, it is essential to be patient with your loved one. It is a process that takes time, and there will be setbacks. The important thing is to never give up hope.
Avoid Comparing Daily Progress
During the journey, you might hear from your loved one saying “I’m back at the start”. Or maybe you can see the slow chipping away at the behaviors and think “we’ve made so much progress, why are we back here?”.
Rushing through compulsions or trying to do things “better” can actually make OCD worse. It can increase anxiety and cause your loved ones to feel like they’re not doing enough. The comparison of daily progress is one of the most common things that people do that can unintentionally make OCD worse. It’s easy to see the compulsions and think “why are they still doing that?”.
But it’s important to remember that this is a journey and there will be setbacks. Accepting that this is a process and there will be setbacks is crucial.
Maintain A Positive Environment
A positive environment is always essential in the life of a person with OCD. People with OCD are constantly in battle against their negative thoughts and feelings. So it’s important to have a support system that can help fight those battles. You can do this by maintaining a clean and organized home, being patient and understanding, and providing emotional support. Moreover, try to avoid anything that might trigger your loved one’s OCD.
Maintaining a positive environment also means being mindful of the language you use around someone with OCD. Avoid terms like “germaphobe” or “clean freak” as they can be derogatory and further the negative stigma associated with mental illness. Instead, use supportive language that affirms your loved one’s efforts to manage their OCD.
Set Limits But With Sensitivity
Limits are important in any relationship, but they are especially important when living with someone with OCD. It’s important to set boundaries and limits on what you will and won’t do to accommodate your loved one’s compulsions. For example, if your partner asks you to do something that makes you uncomfortable, it’s OK to say no.
At the same time, it’s important to be sensitive to your partner’s needs. If you flat out refuse to do something that is important to them, it can damage your relationship. It’s important to find a balance between setting limits and being understanding. Do not be too harsh, but do not be a pushover either. As long as you communicate with each other, you should be able to find a happy medium.
Keep The Communication Simple
When you are living with someone with OCD, it is important to keep the communication simple. This means that you should avoid using words or phrases that may trigger their OCD. For example, instead of saying “I need you to take out the trash,” you could say “Can you please take out the trash?”
It is also important to be patient when communicating with someone with OCD. This is because they may need to repeat certain actions or words multiple times in order to feel comfortable. Also, be respectful when living with someone with OCD. This means that you should not go through their things without their permission. If you need to use something that belongs to them, ask them first.
Encourage Them To Talk To A Therapist
Therapists can help them understand their thoughts and behaviors, and develop healthy coping mechanisms. It is widely believed that the most effective treatment for OCD is a type of cognitive-behavioral therapy called exposure and response prevention (ERP). It is a type of therapy that helps people face their fears and learn to control their anxiety.
Moreover, therapies are usually with any side effects and can be a space for your loved ones to talk openly about their experiences. If you find it difficult to choose the right therapist. Then, you should try Mantra Care, a platform where you can book an appointment with a mental health professional that fits your needs. Mantra Care will help you to find the best therapist for your loved ones in just a few clicks. So book your free consultation today for more information.
Support Taking Medications
When the condition of OCD becomes severe, medications are often necessary in order to help ease symptoms. Some people with OCD will require medication even when they are actively participating in therapy. The most commonly prescribed medications for OCD include antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, and antipsychotics.
Medications may not be a complete cure for OCD, but they can be very effective in reducing symptoms. If your loved one is prescribed medication, it is important to support them in taking it as prescribed. This may mean helping them to remember to take their medication or providing transportation to and from the pharmacy. You should also be aware of any potential side effects of the medications and help to manage them.
Encourage Healthy Ways
Self-care is always demanded by mental illness but is even more important when. So, it is crucial to encourage your loved ones to find healthy ways to cope with their OCD. This may include things like;
These are just a few examples, but the important thing is to encourage your loved ones to find what works for them. Everyone is different and will need to find their own unique way of coping with their OCD.
These are some ways that you can support your loved ones who are living with OCD. It is important to be patient and understand that this is a difficult condition to live with. Showing your support will make a world of difference for them. If you think you may be struggling with OCD, please reach out for help.
There are many resources available to you. Mantra Care can help connect you with a mental health professional that fits your needs. Book your free consultation today. Mantra Care is committed to helping people live happier and healthier lives.
To conclude, living with someone with OCD can be difficult, but it is possible. There are many resources and support groups available to help you cope. Remember to be patient, understanding, and accepting of your loved one’s condition. Seek professional help if necessary. Most importantly, do not hesitate to ask for help yourself if you feel overwhelmed.
Moreover, keep in mind that people with OCD are just like everyone else. They have the same hopes, dreams, and fears. They want to be happy and live a fulfilling life just like you do. So show them compassion and love, and accept them for who they are.