For those that don’t know much about Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), it’s an anxiety disorder where those who suffer from it, constantly battle obsessive and repetitive thoughts. Try and put yourself in their shoes when obsessive thoughts about impending doom and irrational fears don’t stop popping into your brain. It’s not a fun walk in the park. In response, people battling OCD create compulsive rituals to deal with their obsessions to help calm themselves and reduce anxiety. Most people don’t realize that OCD is a fairly common mental disorder and that you have a 2.5 percent chance of dating someone that suffers from it. If you do happen to start dating a person with OCD, it will present you with a unique set of challenges, but here are five tips for dating someone with OCD just for you.
It’s All About Trust
Do your best not to make your partner feel weird because your relationship will be built around trust. You don’t want your partner to hide their persistent symptoms from you, so gaining trust is important. If this happens, your partner will know that you’re not embarrassed by them and they won’t have constant thoughts that you may reject them. Also, don’t force them to talk about their OCD. Just listen, be empathetic, and be there when they need you.
The internets greatest strength is that you can research anything and everything. Knowledge is power, so dive down that rabbit hole and find out as much as you can about OCD. Be proactive.
This one is for OCD, but it’s really for all mental health issues. Yes, you know about your partner’s issues, but that’s because you were trusted with the information. Maybe your partner doesn’t want to be treated differently by co-workers or friends, which happens a lot. So keep the information to yourself unless you’ve been told otherwise.
Find out everything you can about your partner’s treatment. This can be in the form of therapy, to medications, to yoga, etc. Being more involved helps with trust, and you’ll also help with getting these treatments to stick. Your partner will feel less alone, and that’s a powerful tool in battling OCD.
You Have Needs Too
Even though you’re helping a lot by guiding your OCD partner, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take care of your own needs too. You must be open with issues that bother you, even the obsessions, but discuss it in a non-judgemental way. If you don’t and these things fester, just like in any relationship, the lack of communication will doom you.
If you or a loved one you know is showing signs of a Mental Health Disorder, whether it be Depression, Anxiety, Bipolar, Scizophrenia, Addiction, Body Dysmorphia etc., or maybe you just need someone to talk to, please do get the help you need. If you feel like you need to talk to someone right now, you can talk to one of the many fantastic therapists at Better Help by CLICKING HERE.
Photo Credit: Jesper Sehested