Help for Family Members and Friends of Someone with OCD

When someone in your life has OCD, it is natural to try to help them by trying to “talk them out of their symptoms.” “Just stop it!” seems like a logical response. Other times, if someone’s OCD is creating problems in their lives (or ours) it is easy to become frustrated, angry, or critical. Finally, accommodating or, even helping with, the person’s compulsive rituals sometimes occurs. Understanding OCD and how to be helpful support person is the first step toward helping your loved one and yourself.

How to (and not to) Respond to Your Loved One with OCD

When Reassurance is Harmful
This document provides insight on relating to someone with OCD and why providing them with reassurance is harmful to their progress. [IOCDF]

Learning to Live with OCD 
Learning to Live with OCD gives guidelines on how to live with someone who has OCD and provides special guidelines for educators, employers, children, and adolescents.  Also includes an overview of OCD and the types of treatment. [IOCDF)

Families and OCD
This page has information about “Family Accommodation Behaviors” which are things family members do that enable the OCD symptoms.  That is, in their attempt to be helpful or to get the OCD sufferer to stop doing their compulsions, family members may accidentally feed into the OCD cycle. [IOCDF]

Why Families of OCD Sufferers Seldom Get The Help They Need
This article by OCD experts, Heidi Pollard, RN, MSN and Alec Pollard, Ph.D., explains why family members rarely get the proper help they need when coping with the burden of caring for a loved one with OCD and provides helpful tips to address this problem.  [Beyond OCD] 

Information to Help You Understand OCD and How to Support Your Loved One 

Videos about OCD, Its Subtypes, and Treatment in Children, Teens, and Adults [Peace of Mind Foundation]
Click on the section headings to find information specific to what you are needing information about:

  • Education (What is OCD, Types of OCD, Related Disorders)
  • Living with OCD
  • Treatments
  • For Caregivers

4 Steps of Brain Lock
This site offers an overview of Dr. Jeffrey Schwartz’s 4-Step method for overcoming OCD. This information is helpful for OCD sufferers as well as their friends and family members who want to know more about it in order to encourage them.