Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Friend & Family
Those with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder can struggle with a variety of social challenges. OCD is a fear-based disorder. Individuals with OCD engage in rituals to avoid and deter their fears. The compulsion to repeatedly engage in these rituals can be incredibly debilitating. Often these behaviors result in untimeliness, inattentiveness, and isolation. Symptoms vary from person to person, but the negative social implications are often the same. People regularly mistake symptoms of OCD for narcissism, rudeness, disobedience, or disregard.
Follow these 3 rules to avoid the social pitfalls of OCD:
- Practice timeliness: Plan an extra 15 minutes into every activity and use a timer to self-monitor. This allows you time to work through your compulsions and helps ease stress levels, naturally decreasing your desire to engage in OCD behaviors.
- Ask friends and family to assist. Invite loved ones to help you overcome your compulsions by sharing your triggers. Knowledge is power. OCD is not a welcome part of anyone’s life and asking loved ones to participate in your OCD rituals is unreasonable and inappropriate. However, employing simple changes to avoid triggers, as you are working with a professional, can make a big difference!
- Listen actively: OCD can regularly interfere with your ability to actively listen. You can easily get lost in obsessive thought patterns and disengage in conversations. To avoid this, make it a point to make consistent eye contact and provide discrete feedback when appropriate ( a “yes” or “I know what you mean”). This kind of focused engagement will keep compulsions away and friends close.
Navigating the school environment with OCD can be troublesome. Having the right support in place is essential to ensure academic success. OCD evaluation and identification can be completed by an OCD clinician or psychologist. OCD can be exaggerated and/or triggered by stress.
The DREAM approach helps reduce stress and ensure a mind-body balance:
- Diet: Eat well, food is fuel
- Rest: Offer your mind rest, try to sleep 6-8 hours a day
- Exercise: Move, feel, stretch, enjoy
- Activity Outdoors: The earth is beautiful
- Mindfulness: Focus on your body at the moment and practice gratitude