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Topic: Partner with anxiety and ocd

12 posts, 0 answered
  1. Elainem
    Elainem avatar
    6 posts
    11 August 2018

    Hi guys my partner has recently gone into a mental health clinic for some specialist help he has ocd obsessive thoughts and social anxiety.I was just wondering if anyone who has these conditions can give me some advice about how to be the best partner I can be.

    I love my partner dearly and wont to support and help Him as much as I can.

    Any info would be great.

  2. Croix
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    Croix avatar
    9194 posts
    12 August 2018 in reply to Elainem

    Dear Elainem~

    Welcome to the Forum, I'm sorry it's taken so long for you to get a reply, it is not you, it is the system here which sometimes lets this happen.

    Having a partner partner that suffers from anxiety and OCD is pretty difficult and worrying. There really is no guide book on what to do. As a first step I'd suggest you go with your partner to visit his medical team and discuss this with them.

    I was supported by my partner when my anxiety and other matters were pretty bad and I think the one thing that gave me the most comfort and stability was to know my partner was there and would not abandon me (though I would not have blamed her if she did).

    The second most important thing was to ensure my medical treatment was going ahead, and that I took my meds and attended all appointments and did whatever therapy exercises were set.

    The third was to provide perspective. When in an anxious state my ability to see problems clearly and not regard them as disasters was absent. My partner was normally able to provide a more rational view.

    It was not easy for her, some days I'd be ok that she talked and asked how I was, other days I'd be angry and resentful. Trying to deal with this was hard for her.

    With all this pressure on you, as it was on my partner, it is important that you have support. Do you have a family member or friend to care for you and give you support? Trying to deal with all this by yourself in isolation makes it a great deal harder.

    Please feel you can talk about this anytime you wish, it is not a simple situation

    Croix

    1 person found this helpful
  3. Summer Rose
    Valued Contributor
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    Summer Rose avatar
    1169 posts
    12 August 2018 in reply to Elainem

    Hi Elainem

    Thanks for your post and your excellent question. I'm sorry your partner is so unwell, I can imagine that this is a very difficult time for your both. Please know that OCD and anxiety are both treatable conditions and with the right treatment most people do reach recovery.

    My daughter has OCD and anxiety (and she too was treated in a hospital and at a special clinic) and I have supported her for the past six years. Every case is different but here are some ideas to help you, help your partner:

    • If possible attend psych treatments with your partner. Not the whole session but perhaps the last ten minutes. Fighting OCD is a daily battle and the war is won by winning a lot of little battles. You can help at home one battle at time if he lets you know how.
    • Always remember that OCD thoughts are intrusive and can be really scary for the person experiencing them. He didn't ask for this and he can't help it. You can always remind him that, they are just thoughts and they cannot hurt him.
    • Be on the lookout for ways that your partner may try to draw you into his OCD routines (if he has them). For example, my daughter showered up to 10 times a day for awhile. I noticed that she always asked me to get her a towel. I had been unknowingly sucked into her OCD routine and I had to withdraw. A support person does not "do" OCD.
    • Be kind. Sometimes a person with OCD thoughts begins to lose their identity and may even think because they are having "bad" or "disturbing" thoughts that they are a bad person. Remind him every day why you fell in love with him and how special he is just the way he is.
    • Be patient. OCD can take up a lot of time. Routines are endless and the thoughts are exhausting. No amount of pressure or yelling or crying is going to change that. You will be late at times. You may even miss events at times. And when this happens your partner may feel sad and guilty. This is the time to remind him that you love him and you're happy just to be home with him.

    I could really go on forever. Do you have any specific questions about his behaviour that you would like advice on? Any questions about the condition? I am happy to help and chat any time.

    Kind thoughts to you

    2 people found this helpful
  4. Elainem
    Elainem avatar
    6 posts
    12 August 2018 in reply to Croix

    Hi Croix thank you for replying.

    I am sorry you have been through this yourself you are lucky to have someone that cares for you so much.

    Your right it has been hard handling all that is going on atm I have been talking with helplines and family to get support and I slowly feel like i am refilling my caring cup.

    I have been involved with his care so far but it has really only just began but I do intend on being actively involved.

    If that's what he wonts he is struggling to let me i atm as he struggles with guilt for the intrusive thoughts he is having.

    I do my best to let him know I am there for him and that I am not going anywhere but he struggles as it sounds you did to understand why.

    I would love to know what support systems and coping mechanisms your partner used while she was helping you.

    Thanks again I am sure I will have plenty more questions

  5. Elainem
    Elainem avatar
    6 posts
    12 August 2018 in reply to Summer Rose

    Thanks summer rose your post was very helpful.

    Did going to a clinic help your daughter? I will definitely try to be involved with his Phsyc appointments but unfortunately the clinic is an hour away so it will be hard for me to do so. I am doing all the other things you mentioned to the best of my abilities I just wish I could do more.

    My questions would be

    . Has your daughter found any relief from the intrusive thoughts and if so what worked for her.?

    I know they are really scaring my partner right now and he is feeling like a bad person's for having them evan though I tell him he is not.

    . When your daughter went into the clinic did she get worse before she got better?

    . Were did u go for support and information?

    I am sure I will have more questions and would love to continue chatting as my partner and I go through this first stage of treatment.

    Thank you.

  6. geoff
    Life Member
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    geoff avatar
    13475 posts
    13 August 2018 in reply to Elainem

    Hello Elainem, and a warm welcome to the forums.

    A lot has been said so I don't need to repeat it, but firstly I'm very sorry that your partner has been admitted into a clinic.

    Anxiety will create 'intrusive thoughts' which I've had over 58 years as I too have OCD and if you google it then there will many comments for you to read.

    I also was admitted into a clinic for 2 weeks and what I found was that I suddenly improved, that was because there was no outside pressure, no phones, no mail and choice of who I wanted to see.

    Meals were cooked so there was no worry there, and group discussions happened everyday so it seemed to appear as though I had improved immensely, but as soon as I came home then all those pressures happened again.

    Support would be to make sure he has appointments with his doctor and psychologist, take any medication and CBT, exposure, psychotherapy and maybe desensitization to help him manage his anxiety.

    Please ask what ever you want to know.

    Geoff.

  7. Elainem
    Elainem avatar
    6 posts
    13 August 2018 in reply to geoff

    How did u handle your intrusive thoughts? I know my partner is having sexual based ones and is to embarrassed and ashamed and feeling insane guilt around them and can not talk to me about them.

    I am not sure how to handle this.

    I know that ocd attacks the things you wont most witch makes me feel better knowing he really wonts a future with me that is a happy healthy and loving sexual relationship.

    will make sure he sticks to his plan and will have plenty of things planned for when he comes home.

    Thanks again for replying I appreciate the help.

  8. geoff
    Life Member
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    geoff avatar
    13475 posts
    13 August 2018 in reply to Elainem

    Hello Elainem, thanks for replying and know that these thoughts are certainly not what he would ever wish for because he's it's an obsession, maybe if I tell you when I realised they weren't true, I've said them before but that doesn't matter.

    I always wanted to hurt my dear Mum ( I was married and had 2 children ) why I don't know but they were intrusive thoughts but as soon as Mum was admitted into a nursing home these thoughts stopped straight away, it would be awful to hurt her, that's when I knew these thoughts would never come true.

    Now when I have them I dismiss them, but it doesn't stop them from happening, so with your partner needs to know that they are just thoughts and do not reflect on him as a person.

    Try and distract him and do something that will involve both of you, keep his mind occupied as these thoughts come and go.

    See if you can be involved in his counselling sessions and ask the counsellor whether these thoughts should be mentioned, if it embarrasses him then it's probably not a good idea, but please stay with us, each day is always different.

    Best wishes.

    Geoff.

    1 person found this helpful
  9. Summer Rose
    Valued Contributor
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    Summer Rose avatar
    1169 posts
    15 August 2018 in reply to Elainem

    Hi Elainem

    I'm glad that my earlier post was helpful to you. I apologise for the delay responding but I have been unwell. With regards to your questions:

    . Has your daughter found any relief from the intrusive thoughts and if so what worked for her.? Yes, she has found relief from the thoughts and has reached recovery. A combination of CBT, medication, lifestyle changes and family support were the keys to her success.
    . When your daughter went into the clinic did she get worse before she got better? No, she got better. When I asked, why? She said it was because she heard advice that she had never been told before and the strategies worked. I do have to qualify though, getting better is a process. Lots of "two steps forward one step back" experiences.
    . Were did u go for support and information? The BB support line and website, the Anxiety Recovery Centre of Victoria, my GP and I engaged a professional to help me, help my daughter. I had sessions with a mental health nurse in private practice, as requied (sometimes weekly, fortnightly or monthly over the years). I would tell her what was happening at home and what OCD battle my daughter was facing and the nurse would give me practical advice on how to best respond and how to support my daughter's battle.

    Please know that its not uncommon for people with OCD to experience disturbing sexualised thoughts. It's unfortunately part of the illness. I don't think you should be concerned that it has anything to do with your relationship. Your partner can't help these thoughts popping into his mind and he doesn't want it to continue. He is simply unwell.

    I think you're a lovely person, trying your best in a really difficult situation and I encourage you to look after yourself, as well as your partner, as the journey unfolds.

    Kind thoughts to you. Post any time

    1 person found this helpful
  10. Elainem
    Elainem avatar
    6 posts
    16 August 2018

    I just wonted to say thank you to all the great advice and insite into ocd it has helped me cope with what has happend so far and it gives me an idea of the journey to come when my partner gets home.

    I am sure I will have more questions and need for advice as we travle down this long road of recovery and i really appreciate having a place to able to get the help.

    1 question I would like to get involved and help people in the same situation as me and my partner can anyone suggest any groups or volunteer work I can get involved in.

  11. geoff
    Life Member
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    geoff avatar
    13475 posts
    17 August 2018 in reply to Elainem

    Hi Elainem, there are many different places where you can volunteer,

    -Animal Rescue Shelters. Local animal shelters almost always need volunteers
    -Soup kitchens
    -Local Libraries
    -Art Museums
    -hospitals/driving people to and from appointments
    -nursing homes

    -GoVolunteer.com.au is maybe where you can start.

    Best wishes.

    Geoff.

  12. Summer Rose
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
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    Summer Rose avatar
    1169 posts
    17 August 2018 in reply to Elainem

    Hi Elainem

    I think it's really brave of you to want to volunteer in some capacity "to help people in the same situation as me and my partner."

    That's precisely the reason I got involved with bb. I couldn't find a local OCD support group, thought about starting one myself for people dealing with OCD, but then I thought about bb. I speak for the organisation in the community, contribute to the forums and do some other sorts of volunteer work when it comes up through bluevoices from time to time. Check out the bluevoices section of the bb website and see what you think.

    I find this volunteer work really rewarding, particularly as bb was the first place I called when I needed help. And every time I needed information or help over the years bb was there for me. The only caution I would give you though, with this type of volunteering, is that it can be draining and confronting at times (along with rewarding of course). Just make sure you look before you leap.

    You can post here anytime and we will be here to help get you through x

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