Mental Health & Substance Abuse

Factors to consider when helping someone with obsessive-compulsive disorder

Most people you meet today will show some of the other signs of obsessive-compulsive disorder or OCD. They might have an immense fear of catching germs from foreign bodies or objects or have the fear of being judged by others or are constantly worried about something. Most of the times their worry is about the most irrelevant thing in their life. People who have this disorder live their life with a lot of fears and therefore often come across as people who are always anxious.

However, knowing people with OCD and living with them are two different things. When you have a family member who has OCD, it is important to understand that most of their actions and behavior are derived from their fears and anxiety. Therefore, they need people in their lives who understand obsessive-compulsive thinking and behavior.

People with OCD are not demanding; however, they are most comfortable when people understand their need to check things more than three times and be obsessed with having everything around them clean and in order. To understand them better and live in harmony, there are certain guidelines that will help you while you are living with them.

Identification: Start with understanding and identifying the warning signals of the disorder. There are times when people with OCD think in a certain way and act upon things in a way that shouldn’t be missed by family members just as a part of their personality.

Use more encouraging words: It is important to not expect too much too soon from people with obsessive-compulsive disorder about their improvements. In fact, encouraging them to achieve their goals with OCD in their own time will help them go through their process of managing the disorder better.

Being patient: Not everyone has the same speed when it comes to managing obsessive-compulsive disorder; therefore, it is important to remember that people get better but they need different amounts of time. Additionally, one should encourage the person to push themselves to function at their best possible level.

Avoid day-to-day comparison: It is possible that a person with obsessive-compulsive disorder might feel that they are not progressing any further and are going back to square one. These are the moments that require a lot of encouragement and therefore the last thing one must do is tell them “they failed today but can do better tomorrow.” This sentence can make them feel like a failure and lead them to overthink about being a loser.

Recognizing all kinds of improvements: Even the smallest of improvements deserve recognition when it comes to supporting people suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder. Small accomplishments and big recognition are encouraging and can work wonders.

Supportive environment: A supportive family or supportive surroundings is one of the most important tools in managing or living with a person with obsessive-compulsive disorder. When the person understands that they are being supported by everybody around them, they feel motivated to work on managing or curing the disorder more effectively.

Be as normal as possible: Another important thing to understand is that people with obsessive-compulsive disorder feel most comfortable when people around them don’t give them any special or not-normal attention. The more they feel at ease in their home environment, the better they will be able to treat themselves.