Wednesday, October 26, 2011

OCD Awareness: {Help! Someone I Love Has OCD! part 1}

If a loved one has OCD, there are things that you can do to either hurt or help the situation. With a little knowledge, support, and research, you can be the healthiest individual you can be in helping support your loved one. Here are a few steps that you can take:

  1. Educate yourself and your family on OCD: OCD can be complicated and difficult to understand. On the surface, it doesn't make sense why an individual MUST do something to right something that has happened or something they thought about. When you educate yourself on the disorder, this begins to make a bit more sense. Reading books and finding websites, as well as talking to a doctor or therapist, will help you learn about the disorder. 
  2. Get support for yourself: From online and "in person" support groups, these can also be beneficial not only in educating yourself, but in processing your own thoughts and behaviors. 
  3. Engage in self-care behaviors: It can be draining at times in dealing with someone struggling with an illness or disorder. Taking care of yourself is essential to not only keep yourself healthy, but also to provide healthy support to those around you. Here are some ideas to help get you started
  4. Learn to identify cognitive distortions & start changing them! We each have cognitive distortions that sneak their way into our thinking patterns. Learn to change these in your own conversation, as well as helping those around you start changing. There are a number of cognitive distortions that are prevalent in OCD, and it's important that your loved one know these as well. Click here for information on Challenging & Changing Cognitive Distortions. 
  5. Learn to set healthy boundaries in your life: This will not only help you to engage in self-care, but it will also help you to maintain a healthy relationship with your loved one(s). Click here and scroll down to "boundaries" for a list of posts I've done on this topic. 
Part 2 of "Help! Someone I Love Has OCD!" will be coming tomorrow. Keep your eyes out! (I'd also like to mention that these steps listed above are helpful for ANY mental disorder, not just OCD).

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