Loving Someone with OCD
Updated: Mar 5, 2018
By: Jesse Bickel
1. Understand that you won’t always understand what they are going through.
Their actions may not make sense. Their thoughts may not be rational. In fact, they may be completely irrational, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t very real to them.
2. Be there and support them.
Even if you don’t know what to say; be there. Even if you don’t know how to help; be there. Even if they’ve completed their mental routine and checked that the stove is off 15 times; be there. It may not always seem like it, but your ongoing, reliable, patient support for them while they fight the battle raging in their minds really does help.
3. For the love of everyone with OCD everywhere, please don’t tell them to just “stop it.”
Believe me. If the answer was as simple as to just “stop it”, then they would have a long time ago.
4. Let them know that it’s okay not to be okay.
Hug them tighter and reassure them that it’s perfectly okay to seek help. Quite honestly, reaching out for help can change, and even save, a life. It did for me.
5. Encourage them.
Be a listening ear, a guiding hand, a voice of support. OCD can be so debilitating. At times, it can be nearly impossible to escape the incessant stream of obsessive thoughts and compulsions. It is being a prisoner inside your own mind. So encourage your loved one as they fight to find the way out of their prison.
6. Help them to accept themselves.
In a world where it’s acceptable to have a physical illness, but not a mental illness, help them to see that they are not defined by their disorder. Their value is not tied to a three-letter diagnosis. Help them to understand that even though their struggle may look different than most, they have worth as a person, and only they get to decide who they are and what defines them.