How to Help a Friend or a Relative with OCD
First of all as an ex OCD sufferer I realize how difficult it can be to deal with someone who has OCD. You will need to be extremely strong if you want to help them. So here are the things that you can do right now:
1. Stop giving them reassurance. If they repeatedly ask you same thing over and over again you need to calmly tell the person;
“I have already answered this once. You are seeking reassurance because of your OCD. I care about you and I know that reassurance seeking is bad for your disorder. To help you recover I am not going to reassure you anymore.
2. Stop following their avoidance. If this person ask you to participate in an OCD ritual such as doing things to prevent their feared situation from happening you must say no.
Here is an example:
A person with OCD may ask their family members to wash their hands more than needed to avoid getting an illness. The person may demand that certain places or people be avoided because of OCD. You cannot follow their OCD no matter how much they ask you. You must stay strong. In order for them to get better they need to face their fear and realize there is nothing behind it. It is just an irrational fear.
Talk to them calmly. Here is what you should say:
“I understand that you want me to follow what OCD dictates but I am not going to do that because it is detrimental to your progress. I care about you and want you to recover from OCD. This is why I can no
longer participate in these rituals.”
It is very important that you get across to them how much you care about them. Most of the time people with OCD feel unloved and alone. By showing them that you are not going to follow their OCD you are forcing them to face it too.