OCD And Relationships: Overcoming Difficulties

by : isabal



For some, OCD and relationships simply wouldn't go together. They say that either OCD destroys the relationship, or the relationships will worsen the OCD. This is a valid concern, and much easier to declare by people untouched by Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

Have you seen a person who consumes a considerable amount of time in ensuring that she or he has really turned off the light? Or has spent hours in just securing the door lock before bedtime? Or perhaps, your loved one, who perpetually cooks the pizza in a microwave oven, making sure that it's really well done? These could be signs that a person is suffering from OCD.

Latest advancement in medical research asserts that the problem lies in the sufferer's impaired amygdala, the human brain's center for basic emotions, including fear. Generally, the patient is aware of her or his behavior's irrationality. The sufferer may or may not be aware that something is amiss, or that the irrationality is a disease in itself.

The amygdala of the person suffering with OCD is believed to be misbehaving. When the patient is under attack, this "feelings" center is taught to be firing too much signal for danger. Until this part of the brain had calmed down, the sufferer will not perceive - or feel satisfied - that the light is actually completely switched off, for instance - even though they likely rationally understand that it is in fact off. Persons with no OCD on the other hand, depend on their perceptual information as they perform a particular task. This means that once they switched off the light, the rational thing to happen is for the light to turn off.

The question now is, what if this person is your girlfriend or even a wife, or a boyfriend and even a husband. This somewhat odd behavior surely sets the stage for strains in a relationship. Is it worth it? Does OCD and relationships really work?

Like the amygdala itself, the relationship of non-sufferer with person suffering from OCD, is always on the verge of misfiring. The non-sufferer feels perpetually uncomfortable or awkward trying to understand a peculiar behavior on display.

On the other side of reality is the OCD sufferer, who is dreadfully in need of assistance from persons whom they think is capable of understanding them. Or perhaps they may feel a great degree of desperation, knowing that their loved ones would really have a hard time understanding them.

From this perspective, both the OCD and non-OCD persons suffer. Multiply a singular instance of this friction between the persons and we will have an overview how hard it is for these loving persons to continue their relationship. The pressure is immense, with both the parties.

But, taken from a different perspective, living with person suffering from OCD can be blessing. A stable relationship with an OCD may be an opportunity to reflect on the things we consider important, things that we cherish. This relationship, will not only challenge our traditional concept of loving relationship, but will challenge us to understand the meaning of a committed relationship.

Why? Because living with a person suffering from an OCD regularly occurs even while in active treatment. This entails the acceptance of challenges and discomfort, physical or emotional. But after all, we all have to deal with challenges both in health and relationships from time to time. And - what is life without challenges?