What Not to Say to Someone With OCD

If a friend or family member has obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), you probably want to do whatever you can to help them. But if you’ve never dealt with this disorder yourself, you might have a hard time figuring out what to say. Your goal should be to empathize with them and offer support, so with that in mind, you’ll want to avoid using these phrases:

  • “Relax” – OCD causes someone to have recurring, unwanted thoughts and urges (obsessions) and/or repeatedly perform certain actions (compulsions). Even if your loved one’s concerns seem unfounded or don’t make sense to you, it’s important that you remember they can’t help it, and that you don’t tell them to calm down or simply stop worrying. Doing so could leave them feeling invalidated and wondering whether you actually understand what they’re going through.
  • “I’m so OCD” – Many people believe that OCD simply causes one to be tidy or particular about how things are organized, but it’s much more than that. If you’ve actually been diagnosed with OCD, it could be incredibly helpful for you to share your experiences with your loved one. But if you’ve never received a formal diagnosis, avoid labeling relatively normal behaviors as “OCD,” since doing so can minimize the disorder.
  • “I thought you were over that” – Unfortunately, there’s currently no cure for OCD, although there are many treatment options available that can help manage the condition. Your loved one’s symptoms may appear to have improved, but be sure to remember that OCD is a chronic disorder that they may need to work at for the rest of their life.

The Team to Choose for OCD Treatment

Are you looking for a reputable therapist with experience treating obsessive-compulsive disorder? Your search can end with the skilled team at our practice. We regularly treat patients who are struggling with OCD, and we understand the impact this disorder can have on someone’s life. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.



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