Family, Friends
and Carers

Understanding your role when living with someone with OCD

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is often called a ‘family illness’, with the condition regularly impacting both the individual, and those people closest to them. It is important that no matter how severe the persons OCD, we want to reassure you that it is extremely treatable. Often we hear stories of how frustrated the people around the person experiencing symptoms can become, but please remember that the person that is currently experiencing OCD, and is therefore acting from fear and emotional distress.
Those closest people to the individual can play a vital role in the recovery process, and although times can be tough, the likelihood of the person overcoming their OCD tendencies are much more likely with the necessary support the people around them. It’s no secret that OCD puts a strain on an individual’s personal relationships when in the grips of OCD. It can be a frustrating, exhausting, confusing and overwhelming experience for everyone involved. It is likely that without the right help, carers and family members begin to quickly feel deskilled and unsure as to best help their loved one. This can in turn lead to feelings of frustration, helplessness, resentment and anger for all parties involved. It is important to recognise that having OCD is no one’s fault. Many people want someone or something to blame, but the most important thing is to concentrate on the here and now, the solution. Remember that if a loved one opens up to you, it is extremely important not to judge. No matter how disturbing or shocking the person’s thoughts and fears are. It’s just their OCD fears and intrusive thoughts talking. Be sure to be supportive, accepting and non- judgemental if this process were to unfold. This is often the very first step in the person actively seeking treatment. It can be a particularly difficult time when children and young teens are experiencing symptoms. It’s natural for parents to want to make their child feel better, and reassurance can often seem like the quickest and most effective way to do this. However, this will only exasperate symptoms. Love, support and kindness can all offer a great platform for the young person, as well as reminding them that they are not alone.

Remember to look after yourself

We understand that OCD is a family condition, and so we feel that it is particularly important to look after your own emotional wellbeing too. When caring for someone that has OCD, one of the most important things to do can be to learn as much as you can about the condition, as to be able to offer support in the best possible way.

We advise to become, and remain aware of your own responses to the OCD. Are you feeling stressed yourself, more irritable or even depressed? Ensure that you take care of yourself, take time out and make sure that you still do things that you enjoy. For professional help and support as a carer for someone with OCD, please get in touch with us today.

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The Family, Friends and Carer's Powerpoint

This Powerpoint offers a comprehensive insight into both the basic, and more complex workings of OCD, written in a clear and easy to understand way. The aim of this 97 page Powerpoint is to help demystify what can seem like an incredibly complex and overwhelming disorder.

Other material includes an explanation into different treatment options, understanding and obtaining a diagnosis, and some hints, tips and advice as to some ideas as to what you can do today to help the person experiencing symptoms. We have also included some important information as to what benefits you may be able to access as a carer, as well as some useful numbers and points of contact that offers some support outside of specialist therapy

The idea of accessing therapy can often be a scary one

It is natural that a person with OCD doesn’t want to admit to having the condition. Not only is there still as certain level misunderstanding around the condition, but our clients often say that they fear for their jobs, reputation or what others may think of them, which can make the idea of accessing therapy somewhat scary.

Everyone is different. Some people may require more time, and make the journey to recovery at their own pace. Others may need that push and encouragement in the direction o taking those first steps in accessing treatment. It is likely that you know your loved one very well, so ask yourself, “what do you think would be the best approach to take with them?” What we do know is this: unfortunately OCD doesn’t just go away on its own. At some point it is likely that anyone showing symptoms will need to seek the necessary support to overcome the condition.

Do you have a child with OCD?

We are extremely experienced with helping children of all ages to manage and overcome their OCD symptoms. We have worked with children as young as 5 years old with successful results. Although the average onset of OCD is early adulthood, many children develop symptoms at a much younger age.

Having a child with OCD can put a lot of strain on relationships as well as the family dynamic as a whole. Whether you are looking for support for yourself, or specialist treatment for you child, we are confident that we can help. Our bespoke children programs are the perfect balance between providing effective therapeutic tools to young people, whilst remaining interesting and engaging.

To find out more, visit our treatment options page here, or get in touch to find out more.

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