OCD and relationships

OCD and relationships will look at some of the issues surrounding this much misunderstood condition and some of the ways we can address the problem. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder can indeed be a blight and affect many people who attempt to establish and maintain a relationship usually of a romantic nature, for example between a male and female – boyfriend and girlfriend.

Overcoming difficulties around this disorder and relationships is a primary concern for those people affected by it and indeed, many people do not realize that they actually suffer with this condition. Many individuals with this problem are in fact single, and those currently in a relationship often experience a large amount of stress. There are varying degrees of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and not all people are affected in the same way.

In fact it’s an anxiety disorder where a person has constant recurring actions which they must usually repeat over and over again which can be called impulses or obsessions. It is an urge or need, a compulsion basically to keep doing a particular action or set of actions, like a regimented and strict set of rituals almost, to help relieve the feelings of anxiety.

A simple example of this illnes is the need to keep things clean all the time, like a particular part of one’s body. The typical emotions that an OCD sufferer experiences are feelings of senselessness, repetitive urges, distress and so on which can be difficult to overcome. Scientists have recently stated that Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is in fact a mental disorder which can be treated as such with medications and drugs. It is believed that OCD is more common than schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or panic disorder, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.

In addressing the issue of this disorder and relationships, a sufferer may find it difficult to maintain their self-esteem and confidence and have deep feelings of guilt and shame around their symptoms. This can lead to the avoidance of contact with other people which creates a barrier to forming any kind of romantic relationship.

In addition, one may feel to need to actually hide the true nature of the obsessions and compulsions associated with it, for fear of rejection by a potential partner or even current partner. This secrecy and hiding will of course get in the way of having a relationship as it creates barriers and it also affects current relationships, like within a marriage for example, because it then becomes difficult to engage in an open, honest and communicative relationship. OCD sufferers also typically suffer with depression which make things even worse when talking about it and Relationships.

We should not dismiss the idea of intimacy and sexual relations being crucially important within a healthy relationship or marriage and unfortunately OCD patients can find it very difficult to engage in the sexual side of things within a relationship.
For example, the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder sufferer may have obsessions around their partner’s personal hygiene and obsess about body cleanliness in particular parts on their partner, such as the genital region. Clearly therefore this can seriously affect sexual relations where the sufferer, not surprisingly, avoids complete sexual contact with their partner.

There are some ways we can address this problem and the first thing is to acknowledge that the problem exists and speak with your doctor, psychologist or mental health professional who will advise on a course of treatment and / or action.

If the OCD sufferer is in a relationship, then they should be open and honest with their partner and try and make them understand the symptoms of OCD and what can be expected. This then makes it easier to trust one another and allow the relationship to grow and develop as well as at the same time, seeking treatment for the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder with a good OCD Treatment Program.


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