What are some telltale signs your loved one is dealing with O.C.D.?

Author Name
Answered by: April, An Expert in the Living with OCD Category
Have you noticed some seemingly peculiar rituals a loved one is partaking in on a daily basis? Have you caught them in the act of checking locks, counting steps, shutting and re-shutting doors until the shutting door sounds "just right"? Does the person get easily agitated when something is out of order, askew, not in its designated place? These are a few of the telltale signs that people in your life are suffering from the intrusive and damaging effects of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Anxiety, fear and control are constant companions to O.C.D. sufferers and they are not O.C.D.'s only victim. Those closest to them suffer as well.

The disease O.C.D. affects people differently. Habitual repetition with counting, saying a word over and over again, or completing an action a certain number of times is one symptom type of O.C.D. Other characteristics could include but are not limited to touching something like a faucet or a keyboard in a specific way until they get the perfect feel and their brain then gets the "permission" to stop the process. Striving for perfection seems to be an underlying cause of O.C.D. When a ritual or habit is done to the satisfaction of the sufferer then their anxiety is temporarily relieved.

Sadly the truth of the matter is, the more times the ritual is performed without interruption or hindrance the more difficult it is for a sufferer to be satisfied. Soon another ritual will be added to the list to produce more satisfaction to compensate. As the disease progresses and more rituals are added, impatience rules the mind of the victim. The more quickly the ritual is completed or accommodated by others in their life, the more dissatisfied and anxious actually become.

When habitual accommodation of a loved one occurs, family members or friends who do so are actually causing those with O.C.D. more harm than good. Caring for a loved one in this case really may mean using a bit of tough love to at least impede temporarily the progression of the disease. In dealing with O.C.D., those affected need to find inventive ways to discourage rituals rather than encourage rituals. No one wants to see their loved ones suffer, but by enabling their habits, laying out their clothes the way they want (like in the case of a child for instance) or doing something in a certain way they specify only urges their O.C.D. to increase.

The thought to keep in mind is that they will suffer in the long-term if we continue to adhere to their rituals. Many times psychologists or family therapy professionals who counsel those dealing with obsessive-compulsive disorder remind them that O.C.D. is not who our loved ones are. Unfair demands, even personality changes bring stress and worry to close friends and family because of the severity of the disease, not because of the individual's willing actions. It makes it a little bit easier on families, when they realize the person they care about is not the unreasonable person they are dealing with on a daily basis.

Everyone involved is victim to the painful and debilitating characteristics of obsessive-compulsive disorder. Diagnosis of the disease can be the first step in dealing with O.C.D.

Author Name Like My Writing? Hire Me to Write For You!

Related Questions