Anxiety Disorder and OCD - The importance of support from the family
19th August, 2010
If you have somebody in your family who is struggling with Anxiety Disorder and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) you will find an Article by me on this site providing some further thoughts on the topic. Please remember that your relative is a person in their own right. A person who is healthy and able in many ways, but who nonetheless has a disorder.
Do not allow the OCD to take over your family life, keep stress low and the families life as normal as possible.
For people with OCD to make progress towards recovery you must resist helping in their ritual behaviour.
When talking about the behaviour with the person effected, don’t criticise past behaviour, state what you want to happen in the future. Avoid making any criticism personal and help your relative to feel accepted.
Remember, gentle humour alongside care can really help. Support from you doesn’t always have to be serious. People struggling with OCD often know how silly their fear is and they can often see the funny side of their behaviour as long as they feel that you are laughing with them not at them. The humour should not be disrespectful.
The way you react to the family member and their symptoms can have a huge impact. Negative comments and/or criticism can make the disorder worse. It is important to keep calm and provide a supportive environment. There is no point in getting angry with somebody who has OCD or telling them to just stop. They can’t and the extra pressure from you and others will probably make the behaviour worse. Be kind and be patient, focus on the positive and praise any success.
Finally, remember you and other family members may need support and help too. Find somebody to confide in whether it is a friend, your GP or a counsellor.
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