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They may find it difficult to understand why the person with OCD can’t just stop acting out the ritual that so clearly makes everyone unhappy.

A family member may say, “I was able to quit smoking; why can’t you just stop all that checking?

People with OCD often try to involve family members in compulsive rituals.

To keep the peace, family members may play along or help out with behaviours such as hoarding, checking and washing.

A common response might be, “I wish my wife would clean around the house more often,” or “Why complain if your son saves newspapers. ” When untreated, the symptoms of OCD interfere with normal family life, often to a great degree.

It is not unusual for a family to suffer for years before these symptoms are finally diagnosed.

Not surprisingly, you may feel angry that OCD has disrupted family life.

They may also reject attempts the family makes to work together to manage the illness.These emotions strain relationships and affect all aspects of family life.If allowed to escalate, the tension can become as hurtful as the disorder itself.On the other hand, finding out that mental illness is the cause of your relative’s worry and behaviour can make you feel sad.You may fear how the illness will affect the future — for your relative and for you.

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