Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Tom1305

Finding Supporting My Partner Difficult

Recommended Posts

Hey everyone,

 I have no personal or prior experience of dealing with OCD, so essentially I am just asking people for tips on worked for them in terms of supporting their loved ones. Has definitely been difficult, and a bit depressing at times so far.

I’m trying to learn more about OCD now. Any phrases or agreed practices that really work with your loved ones welcome.

Also welcome any suggestions on how you overcome the sense of worry you feel for your loved one, and also the sense of being overwhelmed by the compulsions (I think this comes partly from not being able to relate to OCD in my own lives experience).

Share this post


Link to post
On 28/05/2020 at 17:40, Tom1305 said:

Hey everyone,

 I have no personal or prior experience of dealing with OCD, so essentially I am just asking people for tips on worked for them in terms of supporting their loved ones. Has definitely been difficult, and a bit depressing at times so far.

I’m trying to learn more about OCD now. Any phrases or agreed practices that really work with your loved ones welcome.

Also welcome any suggestions on how you overcome the sense of worry you feel for your loved one, and also the sense of being overwhelmed by the compulsions (I think this comes partly from not being able to relate to OCD in my own lives experience).

Hi @Tom1305, I'm sorry for the pain and struggle you are going through, the loved ones of OCD sufferers definitely have a burden placed on them as well by our illness.  Thank you for making an effort and for reaching out for advice.

Learning about OCD is good, I'm glad to hear you are doing that.  It will help you build a good foundation for understanding and support.
One of the biggest challenges loved ones face is not enabling the sufferer in their compulsions.  Sufferers often involve loved ones in behaviors in these in many ways.  Reassurance seeking is a common one, or requiring loved ones to adhere to strict rules to avoid "contamination" or other issues.  It can seem like accommodating these requests is the loving thing to do, but in fact enabling compulsions is the opposite of what should be done.  

For example, if the loved one is frequently asking for reassurance about fears, you can help them by setting limits and refusing to answer once those limits are reached.  Over time the limits should become stricter and stricter so you offer less and less reassurance.  It may seem cruel, but its much like making a child do their homework even when they don't want to, or take medicine, or go to bed at a decent hour.  

It can help to work with your loved one and their doctor/therapist to set these boundaries, so they are aware of what you are doing and so you have some guidance on where to draw the line.  If thats not an option (particularly in light of current world events) there are books that might be useful.  One of which I am aware is "The OCD Workbook" by Bruce Hyman and Cherlene Pedrick.  While its primary purpose is to help the sufferer, it includes notes and sections for those helping the sufferer through the process.

Finally its understandable to be overwhelmed by all of this, its a lot to deal with.  Its important to realize that you aren't going to fix things overnight, recovery from OCD is a marathon, not a sprint.  You will almost certainly have more success with helping your loved one make gradual changes.  Reducing the compulsions over time is much more practical and likely to work then forcing them to stop cold turkey.  A structured recovery plan with milestones and limits is more likely to work than just a vague "lets get better" approach.  I suggest working with your loved one to create a plan and helping them stick to it.  You are like a personal trainer, your role is support and guidance, but you can't do the work for them, they have to do it themselves.  Its also good to realize that and accept the limitations of your role.  There is only so much you can do, but the fact you are doing anything is a huge mark in your favor.  Good luck.

 

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...