For Loved Ones

This section is for anyone that cares about someone who has OCD. So parents, caregivers, spouses/partners, siblings, friends, roommates and even co-workers! The fact that you’ve even come onto this website and this page shows instantly how much you already care and are willing to help anyway you can. My quick top tips are:

  • Offer to speak with the therapist treating your loved one who has OCD – this is more specifically for parents, caregivers, and partners – this can be a huge step in understanding OCD from a professional who has seen and treated many OCD sufferers. It will also show your loved one that they won’t be alone in the treatment process.

  • Learn what your accommodations are: This is going to be helpful to you and your loved one. By accommodating to OCD you are helping it to grow stronger and stronger every time you give in, so if you do a compulsion for the sufferer, you are accommodating OCD. (There might be some exceptions to this, depending on the severity of OCD and what is prescribed by the therapist). OCD is extremely sneaky so a lot of the time you might be completely unaware that you are doing things OCD’s way. It’s expected that you will slip up and do a compulsion or offer reassurance but you’re human it’s going to happen, don’t be harsh on yourself about it. I can either sneakily get my husband to do a compulsion for me or I can be completely brazen about it, usually when I’m tired and just can’t anything anymore. you’ll find yourself catching OCD out the more you notice it’s patterns.

  • Finally, help with ERP, be their cheerleader, encourage them, talk about OCD as if it doesn’t deserve the time of day (because it doesn’t), remind them of their homework – especially if avoidance is a big compulsion for them, because if they’re anything like me they will avoid the shit out of anything OCD doesn’t want them to do. For example, if they need to watch a TV show that will trigger them, watch it with them. If they need to go to a triggering store, go with them but maybe wait outside while they go in. remind them of time limits and compulsion limits, help them with intentions before big exposures – hopefully you get the idea now.


I cannot stress enough how important it is to do research into OCD when someone tells you they think they might have it or have been officially diagnosed with it.

I can tell you straight up that when someone tells you this, know that it was the single hardest thing they have done! They would have spent months if not years battling weather or not to tell someone and usually when they do, it’s out of sheer desperation for help. See someone telling you they have OCD as an honour, as a privilege; they have chosen you to open up to, they respect you and trust you.

It’s also important to keep in mind that just because they have told you that doesn’t mean they expect nor want you to “fix them.” All it means is that they are desperate for someone to just listen, to give them a confidence boost in getting professional help, to no longer feel so alone. You don’t even have to pretend to understand what they’re going through, because you can’t, and anyone who has OCD knows you won’t be able to fully, truly understand if you haven’t experienced it yourself anyway, so don’t put that pressure on yourself.

This is what I recommend doing:

  • Choose how you like to absorb information
  • Books – there is a mountain of books on OCD, you’ll be spoiled for choice
  • Podcast – for if you prefer to listen than read or hearing other peoples stories might help you more than all the technical stuff in books.
  • reputable websites, such as this one 😉
  • Audio books- why read when someone else can read for you and all you have to do is take in the info!

Lastly, take. your. time! no one is asking you to become a psych over night, not at all actually, unless you want to then you can start with OCD! Researching mental illness is mentally exhausting and the brain is a very complex organ of the body and no 2 are the same. hopefully through this site you’ll at least have the knowledge of the basics to start supporting someone who has OCD. If you want to go a little deeper, head over to the resources page for my top recs of books, podcasts, charities, websites and more.

Self Compassion & Self Care

It is crucial that if you want/need to be a support to someone who has OCD that you are kind to yourself. Like I said before no one is asking you to be a professional in the brain department or understand what someone is going through with OCD.

You have to take care of your own mental health because if you’re not taking care of yourself you cant take care of others, trust me!

If you feel that you don’t have the mental capacity to take on someone else’s mental struggles it’s ok to tell them that and they will understand.

You could say something like: ‘I appreciate you opening to me but i’m just not in a position to be the support you need right now but let’s find someone together you can reach out to.’

This way you are showing them that you want to help but you’re not able to be their full support at this moment. Remember, everyone has mental health!

Patience & Understanding

It is so important to have patience and understanding with someone who has OCD. this is because they know full well that the actions, they may be performing don’t make any sense, but are longing for just a little relief from the anxiety produced by the intrusive thoughts. This only works short term and will become more and more frequent and intense the more the compulsion is performed. If their OCD is driving you crazy, just think what it’s doing to them.

It is literally impossible for someone to ‘just stop’ and this goes for ‘just stop the compulsions’ and ‘just stop thinking about XYZ’. If I told you to not think about a mermaid and kept telling you to not think about a mermaid, I guarantee it will be a long time before that mermaid disappears from your mind (if ever)! You’re just lucky I used an example of a mermaid because someone with OCD doesn’t get to think of such pleasant images, it’s not on OCD’s list of torturous themes like murder, sexual assault and cheating on your partner – thinking of this now? Oops, my bad ;p.