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Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) can be a terrifying illness that affects the whole family. It can be frustrating, exhausting and scary for everyone - family, friends and carers (FFC), be they parents, siblings, spouses or children.
However, the most important thing to remember is that while Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder is a chronic illness, it is equally a very treatable medical condition that can certainly be overcome. As family, friends and carers, you play a vital role in the effectiveness of that treatment and the person with OCD, your loved one, will need a great deal of support from you.
Many family, friends and carers of a person with OCD are often unaware of how best to help their loved one. The illness can be very confusing for all involved and can put a strain on family relationships. OCD can certainly interfere with daily functioning of the family, sometimes causing resentment and feelings of anger.
OCD can also put a strain on marriages and family life by creating emotional and financial burdens.
It can be especially difficult for children. If you are a parent of a young person with OCD, they may feel that they are going mad or that they are the only one who feels this way. Whilst reassurance for OCD is not recommended, reassuring the sufferer that they are loved and not alone, and reminding them of the fact that the illness can be beaten, should be a regular occurence.
As a family, friend or carer you can have an important role in giving practical and emotional support to someone with OCD. Although there are many different family dynamics, and you may be reading this from a totally different perspective, we still hope this advice will be of help to you. We have identified the following seven categories of FFC, all of whom will have different relationships with the OCD sufferer:
Our intention is that this guide will help to clarify information about OCD symptoms and treatments, as well as offering hope and encouragement for those affected by this very treatable disorder.
Families and carers have an important role in giving practical and emotional support to someone with OCD. If you care for someone with OCD, finding out about the condition, and understanding what your loved one is going through, is perhaps the most important thing that you can do.
In order to help you with this, your loved ones healthcare professional should also give you information about OCD and how the treatment will help, but if not this website is a good starting point.
When tackling OCD, knowledge is power! The more you learn about OCD, the better equipped you will be to deal with its many faces and the problems that it will cause your loved one and the rest of your family.