Healthcare: Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

For Caregivers


Information for Caregivers


It is extremely difficult to be a caregiver of someone struggling with OCD. As a caregiver for someone with OCD it is critical to be there to support your loved one and, if possible and they are willing, to participate in treatment. This can involve learning how to not enable symptoms (also called family accommodation) to helping him/her engage in therapy tasks (such as facing their fears). It is also important to understand what OCD is, what CBT is and the proper ways for you to help your loved ones fight the OCD versus giving into it. Remember to take care of yourself. Having a loved one with a mental illness can be difficult so it is important to set aside time for yourself to prevent feeling burnt out.

First steps for caregivers:

  • Learn about OCD and its treatment.
  • Recognize OCD symptoms.
  • Find a qualified treatment provider.
  • Support your loved one in treatment.
  • Avoid participating in rituals and reassurance under guidance from your loved one's clinician.
  • Communicate positively – avoid criticism, yelling and arguing.
  • Create a support system – find a support group.
  • Find time for yourself.
  • Spend time with your loved one that doesn't revolve around OCD.