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Author Topic: BOYFRIEND HAS SEVERE OCD NEED HELP  (Read 1112 times)

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Offline farfalla89

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BOYFRIEND HAS SEVERE OCD NEED HELP
« on: March 11, 2013, 06:52:03 AM »
Hey everyone!

I am looking for some advice for helping my boyfriend with severe OCD.
Here is the story.
I moved here to Italy to be with my boyfriend (I am American). I lived with him at his parents house for the first 2 months and although I knew he had OCD and had to do certain things (like count in his head before he climbed the stairs to the bedroom, count before he closed the car door, turn the light switch on and off a certain number of times) it was never as I would consider SEVERE. They were little habits that weren't really bothersome and didn't take up TOO much time.
We moved in to our new home together back in December. From then his OCD has progressively gotten worse.
Let me list some examples.
1. We have 3 doors that we have to go through in order to get outside. Before going through each doorway he has to count to a certain number or go through the doorway a certain number of times. In the beginning it didn't take long, but now it can take up to 30 minutes for him to go through the doorways. Going to work or going out in general is a big task and we have to plan to leave 30 minutes earlier in order for him to make it outside.
2. The same thing applies to when we get home. It is actually even worse. The other night he was counting and going back and forth through the doorways for an hour and a half. Each time he went through the doorway a certain number of times something in his brain said "no, you did it wrong" and he would have to do it all over again. By the end of this he was so overwhelmed, upset, sweaty, and exhausted.
3. Getting dressed and undressed is a huge task. He has to put on and take off his shirt a certain number of times. Same with his pants and shoes. Some nights it is so overwhelming that he just sleeps with his clothes on in order to avoid the process.
4. Getting out of the car is also hard. He has to go in and out of the car a certain amount of times and also close the door over and over again.

There are other little tics that he has to complete and if he doesn't he goes crazy. One time we were leaving work (we work together) and he didn't shut his computer down "the right way". He realized this when we arrived home. Work is 20 minutes away. We had to drive all the way back to work so that he could reboot his computer, open Internet Explorer 3 times and close it three times and then shut the computer down.

As I said, before we moved in together his OCD was not TERRIBLE. I believe the reason that it is getting worse is because I know that he has this problem and I know that he has to do things a certain amount of times. Before, no one knew about his OCD, not even his parents. It was always a secret and so he didn't want anyone to find out so he kept his tics to a minimum. Now that I know about it I feel like he thinks about it more and he feels free to perform these compulsions without having to worry about who finds out.

I feel so bad that he is suffering like this. I tell him all of the time that he needs to talk to someone or he needs to go to therapy. He didn't even know what OCD was until I told him that he had it. He thought he was just strange and didn't understand why he had to perform these compulsions. Of course I try to be understanding and let him fulfill his compulsions without putting anymore pressure on him, but sometimes it is really hard. Especially if I had a hard day at work or if I am tired or if I don't want to be late for something. I am human and of course I get angry sometimes. I know that it isn't his fault and he can't control it and I feel terrible when I get mad about it, but sometimes it is just so hard.

I really would like some advice from anyone.
Does anyone have any similar compulsions?
How do you deal with your OCD?
Does therapy help?
How can I be more supportive?
Is there anything that I can do to ease his compulsions?

I just want to add that I really don't think that he is up for taking medication for this. As I stated above, he is italian and Italians aren't really keen on taking a lot of medication. They believe in natural cures or taking as little medication as possible (at least down here in the south they are like this).

Thank you so much in advance.

Farfalla
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Offline JunoX

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Re: BOYFRIEND HAS SEVERE OCD NEED HELP
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2013, 10:21:08 PM »
This is a very serious situation your going through. My OCD is different from the one your boyfriend has but I do believe that his is the most common form.

I wish there was so frying useful I can say to you but the truth if the matter is that your boyfriend needs professional help. He will not be able to control this in his own. Therapy is a good starting point but he will most likely need medicines that can control this kind of behaviour. Remember, this is nit about will power, this an illness of the mind and no amount of will power will help him except the will to seek help for it.

You will not be able to ease his compulsions so I recommend you do not think of his illness in those terms or it will affect your relationship in the long wrong. His compulsions have nothing to do with you. You can not ease nor make them worse. This is completely a problem within himself. Life stressors can trigger attacks where the compulsions can become worse but that's not in your nor his control. Life just happens, to all of us.

I just want you to not take his illness as a burden on yourself. There is nothing you can do about it and I want you to be clear on that. He needs to come to the realization and accept the fact that he has a mental illness. The best way you can support him is to encourage him to get help and to become more educated on what this is. Encourage him to come on this board and see that he is not alone in this. Others have this too. Explain to him that he has nothing to be ashamed of. He didn't do this to himself and it is not his fault. He just has to come to the realization that he needs to actively treat this because there is no way that he will be able to have a happy and normal life like this and it is unfair for you too.

I do not know what might have triggered for his condition to get worse but I am sure it was not anything you did. The thing about OCD is that, if left untreated, it tends to always get worse with time. The obsessions grow stronger and the compulsions become uncontrollable as the anxiety increases. The more he does his rituals, the more of them he will need and soon one hour devoted to them, is not enough. Neither will two or three or more. He will eventually become home bound. That is why its vital that he takes control as soon as possible. These are much more than just "tics" and are extremely serious.
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The woods are lovely, dark and deep. 
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Offline farfalla89

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Re: BOYFRIEND HAS SEVERE OCD NEED HELP
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2013, 09:01:30 AM »
Thank you so much for your reply!!
I totally understand what you are saying that he needs professional help and he can't do this on his own. The thing is he won't listen to me about getting help. I have found so many options for him, so many therapists, so many people for him to talk to, and he is afraid to take that first step in getting help. He says he "doesn't want to be sick", and believes that if he has to go to therapy then he is "mentally sick", which is a really bad thing in his mind. I try to convince him that there is nothing to be afraid of and that I am here with him to help him and he can get through this, but it makes him feel worse because he doesn't wanted to be treated like a "sick person". There really is no getting through to him.
I would love for him to come on this board and talk to all of you, but unfortunately he doesn't speak English very well.
I will try some more to get through to him, hopefully soon I will be able to convince him to get some help.
Thanks again!

Farfalla
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Offline sharon75

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Re: BOYFRIEND HAS SEVERE OCD NEED HELP
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2013, 03:29:05 PM »
Hi, sorry i cant really help with the ocd but you and your bf could use google translate to come on the forums if he would be willing.  I have social anxiety but think i may have ocd.  I am scared to talk to the doctor about it also so i know how he feels, one of the things i obsess with is that i may be crazy.  I think he maybe feel that too.  I hope he can come on the forums, it is so helpful.  ;D
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Offline Chris516

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Re: BOYFRIEND HAS SEVERE OCD NEED HELP
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2013, 12:17:45 AM »
Thank you so much for your reply!!
I totally understand what you are saying that he needs professional help and he can't do this on his own. The thing is he won't listen to me about getting help. I have found so many options for him, so many therapists, so many people for him to talk to, and he is afraid to take that first step in getting help. He says he "doesn't want to be sick", and believes that if he has to go to therapy then he is "mentally sick", which is a really bad thing in his mind. I try to convince him that there is nothing to be afraid of and that I am here with him to help him and he can get through this, but it makes him feel worse because he doesn't wanted to be treated like a "sick person". There really is no getting through to him.
I would love for him to come on this board and talk to all of you, but unfortunately he doesn't speak English very well.
I will try some more to get through to him, hopefully soon I will be able to convince him to get some help.
Thanks again!

Farfalla

My fiance is the same(I think).  Because she has been having terrible guilt for the better part of a year now.  She is on a homeopathic med.  But I don't think it is working.

In terms of your boyfriend not wanting to go to a therapist, his reluctance is partially understandable.  Because, Just the mere thought of seeing a therapist, in general, has had a stigma attached to it unfortunately.  Like the person is not strong enough to handle something on their own.

At the same time, I definitely agree.  He needs to see a therapist.  My fiance used to see a therapist.  But she hasn't seen one in several years.  I wish she would.
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