Helping Someone You Love
Information for Friends and Family

How Can I Be Supportive of A Friend Who Has OCD?

You can be supportive by encouraging your friend to get treatment, if they are not doing so already.  (That doesn’t mean nag them; let them know you want what’s best for them, and CBT therapy—sometimes accompanied by medication—is the only known treatment that is effective in helping people gain control over OCD.)

If they are in treatment, you can acknowledge improvements or even share in their celebrations of success.  However, experts say not to get overly involved in the recovery process.  Don’t check in on them a lot to make sure they are doing their home therapy assignments.  Don’t berate them if they have setbacks, and don’t be the person they run to for empathy and excuses when they fail.  Just let them know you have faith in their ability to ultimately learn how to manage the obsessions and compulsions.

If your friend’s family members are also trying to help, talk with them to make sure you are all on the same “wavelength” in the way you respond to OCD behavior.

You can also learn more about OCD from other web sites, books and even support groups.  You can find these in the More Resources section of this web site.

Go to More Resources

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