Someone with OCD
Help for You and Your Family
Karen J. Landsman, Ph.D.,
Kathleen M. Rupertus, MA, MS,
and Cherry Pedrick, R.N.
Loving Someone with OCDwas published in 2005 by New Harbinger Publications. Wed like to tell you more about this valuable new resource. Below is an overview of Loving Someone with OCD. For more information on Loving Someone with OCD. please click on one of the following links.
Overview of Loving Someone with OCD
Obsessive-compulsive disorder takes a steep toll on families. One that until now has been overlooked. In Loving Someone with OCD: Help for Families, Karen J. Landsman, Ph.D,; Kathleen M. Rupertus, MA, MS; and Cherry Pedrick, RN, recognize the plight of the spouses, siblings, parents, and significant others of those challenged by OCD. In this first-of-its-kind book they provide the skills families need to support their loved ones healing and to keep OCD from taking over the family. Readers find:
· An understanding of how accommodating OCD behaviors undermines the person suffering from them;
· A lay persons understanding of what the latest research tells us about OCD;
· The skills they need to help a loved one overcome OCD and free him or herself from the grip;
· Strategies for stopping OCD from compromising the familys wellbeing;
· Case histories of families whove struggled with and overcome OCD together.
Family members of someone with OCD are often required to participate in the ritualistic behaviors that this illness demands. The authors profile a number of these families in Loving Someone with OCD. In one, the husband of someone with OCD-related fears of contamination is required to remove all his clothing in the garage prior to entering the house, then wash his hands and feet with a bleach solution and finally take a shower while his wife decontaminates his clothing in the laundry. In another, the wife must rearrange her work schedule so she has time to check all the household appliances before leaving home. The authors respond with guidance for these issues.
Accommodating OCD secures its grip on your loved one
Your spouse, your sister, or your step-dad is tormented by the fear that they didnt lock the front door and that this will result in a family-wide catastrophe You love them and dont want to see them miserable, so you go back to make sure the door is locked, then they become fearful that they left the iron on and back to the house you go, then its the stove that starts to worry them and youre back a third time. Its natural to want to allay a loved ones fears. The problem is that by accommodating OCD-driven fears and compulsions you are, in fact, cementing their hold on him or her. In Loving Someone with OCD, the authors offer step-by-step guidance for responding to a loved ones fears in a way that strengthens them, not their OCD.
What you probably dont know about OCD
In recent years, OCD has been fodder for pop culture vehicles like Monk and As Good as It Gets. Because its an illness thats made its way into the popular consciousness many of us think we know all about it but, as the authors reveal, theres plenty of new info on the horizon. For example, did you know that:
Some cases of OCD in children are associated with strep infections.
The relatives of OCD sufferers have higher rates of Tourettes syndrome and tics, leading researchers to suspect a connection among these conditions.
PET scans have shown that those with OCD have increased activity in the areas of the brain that control impulsivity and reaction to fear.
Hoarding can be a symptom of OCD
Some OCD sufferers have whats called scupulosity. Those with it obsess about having blasphemed or violated a divine moral code in thought or deed.
For women with OCD it sometimes worsens during pregnancy.
You may find Monk a laugh-out-loud funny character, but how would you feel if he was your husband? OCD can impact a couples emotional and physical intimacy, take a financial toll, and sometimes stress a relationship to its breaking point.
Surprise...I have OCD. What if your spouse or significant other doesnt reveal his or her OCD before youre married or living together? Often deep-rooted shame about OCD and fear about how it will affect a relationship inspires secrecy. When this happens the non-OCD partner often feels unprepared to handle the situation and can wind up asking difficult questions like Why would someone I have devoted my life to not trust our relationship enough to reveal this sooner?
The family contract is the cornerstone of the authors program for freeing a loved one and the whole family from OCDs grip. When a family enters into a behavioral contract they make an agreement to respond instead of react to their loved ones OCD. While the specifics differ from family to family, at the core of the contract lies an agreement to replace the accommodating behaviors that undermine a loved one and strengthen OCD with responses that support the person, not the OCD. These include:
Nixing the quick fix: Curbing the behaviors that accommodate OCD fears and undermine your loved one;
Proactive problem solving: Making a plan to respond effectively to predictable OCD situations; and
Promising to make informed, reason-based decision even in the face of a loved-ones anxiety: Rather than participating in the rituals that will temporarily calm a loved ones fear, sticking to the plan that will help your loved one overcome OCD.
Karen J. Landsman, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist who specializes in the treatment of anxiety disorders. She is in private practice in New Jersey and is a frequent presenter at psychological seminars across the country. She has been interviewed by national and local print media.
Kathleen M. Rupertus, MA, MS, is a counselor specializing in the treatment of anxiety disorders at the Anxiety and Agoraphobia Treatment Center in Pennsylvania where she works with children and adults. She is a doctoral candidate at The Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. An OCD sufferer herself, Rupertus has a unique empathy for those families living with OCD.
Cherry Pedrick is a registered nurse and freelance writer in Lacey, Washington. In 1994 she was diagnosed with OCD, which began an intensive search for knowledge, effective treatment, and management of compulsive behaviors. She is coauthor of The OCD Workbook: Your Guide to Breaking Free from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, The Habit Change Workbook: How to Break Bad Habits and Form New Ones, and The BDD Workbook: Overcome Body Dysmorphic Disorder and End Body Image Obsessions, Helping Your Child with OCD, A Workbook for Parents of Children with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and Loving Someone with OCD: Help for You and Your Family, published by New Harbinger Publications, and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, published by Lerner Press. Visit her website at http://www.cherrypedrick.com/
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