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OCD and Its Effect on Your Relationship

Obsessive compulsive disorder, commonly referred to as OCD, is prevalent in millions of people across the world. According to The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), nearly 1.2 percent adults in the United States had OCD in the past year. As per the latest estimates, around one in a 100 children and one in 40 adults in the country are struggling with the mental health disorder.

The statistics are threatening in the view that people with OCD exhibit compulsions (unwanted and intrusive images, thoughts, or urges that cause anxiety and distress) and obsessions (a behavior characterized by a strong desire to perform in order to ease their anxiety or distress).

Symptoms of OCD

OCD is generally bifurcated into two different reactions – obsessions and compulsions. Therefore, when we talk about its signs and symptoms, we look for signs specific to both obsessions and compulsions.

Obsession Symptoms

  • Fear of contamination, hygiene or dirt
  • Not compromising on when it comes to things being symmetrical and orderly
  • Ruminating over unwanted thoughts, such as aggression, or religious or sexual subjects
  • Fearing about touching objects that were touched by others
  • Feeling extreme stress if there are some things that aren’t orderly
  • Not sure about day-to-day chores like if you’ve locked the door or turned off the stove
  • Having visuals of driving your car into a crowded place
  • Unpleasant sexual images
  • Stressing about the situations of making physical contact like shaking hands or hugging people

Compulsion symptoms

  • Washing and cleaning
  • Checking doors repeatedly to make sure they’re locked
  • Silently repeating a prayer, word or phrase
  • Checking the stove repeatedly to make sure it’s off
  • Demanding reassurance
  • Abiding to strict routines
  • Hand-washing until skin becomes rough 

How OCD Affects Relationships

People living with OCD develop a lack of security as well as heightened sense of fear, which puts an extra pressure on the partner and family to stay patient with the one in distress. OCD affects the relations like it affects the one who suffers. Probably because the ones who are close to the person in distress are so highly emotional, that they are no less traumatized that their loved ones.

Sometimes, even the intimate partner may wonder if he or she really loves his or her partner or if he/she is the right person. No matter how much you love the one you are in a relationship with, OCD tends to make you feel anxious about your relationship.

According to experts, many people experience occasional doubt about relationships with the people experiencing relationship OCD. Moreover, fears about germs, cleanliness, and contamination (common problems with OCD) may compromise physical intimacy and overall affection between partners.

OCD has also been found to affect sexual relationships between partners, which may lead to:

  • A low sex drive
  • High levels of disgust when thinking about sexual activities
  • A fear of having sex

The above symptoms may further develop feelings of inadequacy, rejection, and resentment if their sexual and physical sexual needs are not satisfied. Apart from physical relationship, OCD may also emotionally drain the person who is taking care of a partner battling the problem. Therefore, it is advised to convince your partner to seek treatment if you identify any possible symptoms of OCD. This approach can prove effective in saving a relationship.

We Can Help You

If you or a loved one is battling obsessive compulsive disorder and is looking for a trusted behavioral health center, get in touch with the 24/7 Recovery Helpline. Contact our 24/7 helpline 855-441-4405 to get guidance about OCD treatment centers and the programs offered at our vast network of mental health treatment centers.

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