How to Help a Loved One With OCD

Alter Can Help You Support Someone With OCD

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental health condition associated with repetitive, unwanted thoughts (obsessions) that drive them to repeat certain behaviors. For instance, people obsessed with the idea that they didn’t turn off the stove might check it repeatedly before bed. People obsessed with germs might wash their hands so much that they become raw. Families can help a loved one with OCD manage the condition and alleviate symptoms in many cases. We’ll explain how in the blog below.

At Alter Behavioral Health, we treat OCD and other mental health disorders. As many as 2% of people in the U.S. have OCD. Having intrusive thoughts and compulsive behaviors can impact a person’s everyday life and cause significant anxiety. A complex condition, treatment for OCD is available, but it’s crucial to undergo therapy at an accredited mental health treatment center in Irvine, CA, like Alter Behavioral Health.

How Can We Help?

Providing a Compassionate and Safe Environment for Healing.

While mental health providers in Irvine, California can help people who have OCD through psychotherapy and medication, family and loved ones can also provide a great deal of support. Managing OCD is often based on therapy and medication, but each client is unique. That’s why Alter Behavioral Health individualizes OCD treatment to ensure that each person gets the help they need for symptom relief and improved condition management.

Alter Behavioral Health treats mental and behavioral health conditions, including OCD. If your loved one has OCD or you’re unsure, you can encourage them to visit us for a diagnosis and treatment. Today, OCD is treated with therapy and medication. Social support can also help. Alter Health is a renowned mental and behavioral health treatment center in California. We can evaluate your loved one’s condition to make an accurate diagnosis. If they have OCD, we can individualize a treatment plan that’s ideal for them. 

What Is Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder?

Obsessive-compulsive disorder is a mental health disorder that involves obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors related to those thoughts. It can cause considerable anxiety to people who have the condition. When symptoms are severe, they may impede a person’s daily life. 

The condition can involve a wide array of obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors such as extreme worries about precision or order, fear of forgetting to turn off an appliance or lock a door, fear of contamination by germs, fear of committing an aggressive act or being harmed, having disturbing sexual thoughts, worrying that something is incomplete or will be forgotten. 

OCD can be managed with cognitive behavioral therapy and medication like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which are anti-depressants that can positively impact OCD. OCD symptoms can worsen during periods of high stress. With treatment, patients can expect to experience a reduction in symptoms and develop strategies for managing their condition for the long term. 

Does OCD Run in Families?

Medical research suggests that OCD runs in families and several genes are likely involved in its development. However, researchers aren’t sure which genes cause the disorder and if other factors are also involved. Illness or environmental factors may be involved in the development of the condition. The consensus among mental health professionals is that OCD has a genetic component that leaves individuals vulnerable to disease onset but that other environmental factors probably also contribute to disease development. 

How Can We Help?

Providing a Compassionate and Safe Environment for Healing.

5 Tips for Helping Someone Who Has OCD

Families, partners, and friends can help a loved one with OCD in several ways. Here are some key ways to help someone who has OCD:

1. Get Educated: OCD Awareness

OCD is a complicated condition that many people may not be aware of or know much about. The condition is difficult to understand as individuals with the disorder might act unremarkably in other aspects of their lives. However, individuals with OCD may have an obsession and associated compulsive behaviors that are highly unusual. For instance, the individual might fear that they will run people over, so they repeatedly check under their vehicle to be sure no one is there. 

The fear of possibly harming someone can be highly distressing, causing the individual to feel anxiety. They might even try to avoid driving. By learning about the disorder in detail, loved ones can better understand what their loved one is going through. Learning about OCD treatment can help them support their loved ones and encourage them to continue therapy. 

2. Don’t Enable by Accommodating Obsessions 

If your loved one asks you to participate in their obsession with a behavior such as checking the stove or making sure the door is locked (assuming these are their OCD obsessions), it’s more helpful to them to resist the request rather than accommodate their request. Even if the task is simple, you won’t be helping your loved one combat their obsessive-compulsive behavior if you participate in it. If your loved one asks you to perform compulsive behavior for them, change your schedule to accommodate their OCD, or repeatedly reassure them, you should try to resist such requests. 

3. Explain Your Boundaries

Be sure to explain to your loved one about your boundaries and why you must resist accommodating their OCD-related requests. Although they may be aware that your decision not to help is, ultimately, better for their mental health, it can still be difficult for them in the short term. They may become hurt or angry. Explain that your refusal to participate is supporting their recovery process.

4. Patience

You may feel exacerbated by your loved one’s seemingly unusual behaviors and rituals. Remember that the compulsions they experience are hallmarks of their mental health disorder. It may take time for their therapy and medication to help them manage their condition. Symptoms can be stubborn and persist even after treatment. In fact, during high stress, OCD symptoms can flare up, becoming more severe. 

5. Encourage Treatment

Encourage your loved one to meet with a mental health provider for support. OCD can be managed effectively, but treatment is necessary. Tell your loved one that Alter Behavioral Health treats OCD and other mental health disorders. If your loved one struggles with OCD symptoms, help them find treatment.

OCD Treatment mental illness irvine california orange county ocd

What Is the Role of Family in OCD Management?

Family members can help a loved one with OCD using the tips above. If your loved one has a condition or symptoms suggestive of OCD, encourage them to visit our facility for an evaluation. You might even accompany them to reassure them that they’re not alone. Our clinicians are caring and highly experienced. We have the expertise to help them find relief and manage their condition.

Call Alter Behavioral Health and Help a Loved One with OCD

Contact Alter Behavioral Health if your loved one has OCD and needs help. We treat mental health conditions like OCD and others. If you have questions or concerns about OCD and how to help your loved one beyond what’s mentioned, be sure to call us at 866-647-2716. With treatment, OCD can be managed, and there are steps you can take to help a loved one with OCD.

How Can We Help?

Providing a Compassionate and Safe Environment for Healing.