Fort Wellness Counseling

5 Tips for Living with Someone with OCD

living with someone with OCD

While living with OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) can be demanding, living with someone with OCD is an entirely different challenge. And how roommates, family members, and spouses choose to support their loved ones with OCD is completely up to them. While some folks benefit from setting up rigid systems and rules, others require immense flexibility. Therefore, everyone will have to determine what works best for them and their loved ones.

To help you along the way, our OCD therapists are revealing five tips for living with someone with OCD in today’s article.

Tips for Living with Someone with OCD

A wide variety of emotions arise when living with someone with OCD. You might feel frustrated, impatient, confused, and angry – and each of those is totally okay. If you’re not a licensed professional therapist or psychologist, it can be tough to know how to navigate those murky waters. However, these tips for living with someone with OCD can help:

Don’t Support OCD Rituals

People living with OCD experience many triggers and anxiety-soothing behaviors (sometimes known as ‘rituals’). And when you’re living with someone with OCD, try your best not to participate in those rituals, as it encourages the behavior. For example, if your partner has contamination OCD, avoid cleaning in front of them whenever possible. On the other hand, if they have false memory OCD, avoid recapping fading or fuzzy memories.

Don’t Blame Yourself for Triggering Them

It’s common for people living with OCD to become triggered by the people they’re living with and around. However, you can’t blame yourself. Because of the nature of OCD, new triggers are constantly arising, and it’s far too easy to set one off unintentionally. While you might feel awful if this happens, remember that no one is to blame – it’s simply part of the OCD experience.

Be Patient (And Impatient)

Living with someone with OCD requires plenty of patience. And because this skill is practiced, you’ll likely develop more of it as the relationship progresses. However, throughout the process, it’s important to recognize that we’re all only human. And while some days yield incredible patience, others won’t. On the days when you become impatient (or potentially even snap), recognize it for what it is. Then, forgive yourself.

Engage in Assertive, Productive Conversations

Being able to have assertive conversations is essential for living with someone who has OCD. There will come times when the OCD, triggers, and tendencies need to be discussed. And when they do, make sure you are:

  • Respecting boundaries
  • Eliminating all expectations
  • Listening to what they have to say
  • Knowing when to take a step back
  • Approaching the conversation from a place of empathy

Support Your Own Mental Health

Finally, the most important tip for living with someone with OCD is to make a conscious effort to support your own mental health. It’s impossible to show up for those around us when we’re struggling ourselves (either subconsciously or blatantly). Recognize when you need to take some time to care for yourself. Then, carve out some time to speak to a therapist, exercise, journal, meditate, or do another self-care activity.

OCD Therapists in Fort Worth, Texas

If you or a loved one is living with someone with OCD — or struggling with OCD themselves — our therapists at Fort Wellness Counseling are here for you. We’ve helped plenty of Fort Worth locals with OCD, and now we’d love to do the same for you.

Whether you’re looking to overcome OCD or simply learn how to support a loved one, we’ll equip you with proven tools and strategies to accomplish long-term change. Contact our team to learn more about what we can do for you.