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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) Message Board

What is the best way to tell someone that I have OCD?

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Old 07-18-2004, 08:18 AM   #1
Join Date: Jun 2004
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Link89 HB User
What is the best way to tell someone that I have OCD?

I'm a fairly private person, and have not told anyone that I have OCD. I would like to at least tell one of my friends, and eventually my family, but I just don't know the best way to reveal this. My obsessions and compulsions embarrass me to no end, and I really don't know how my friend would react to my openly discussing my insanity. I know that if she reacts poorly and is not supportive, she is not a good friend in the first place, but I'd rather not lose any of the few close friendships I've managed to maintain. I really would like to be able to talk about this with people and get treatment, but this involves admitting my problem openly. Can anyone help me? Thanks a lot.

Last edited by Link89; 07-18-2004 at 08:19 AM.

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Old 07-18-2004, 10:43 AM   #2
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Posts: 633
openseason HB User
Re: What is the best way to tell someone that I have OCD?

First of all your not insane. People with ocd never hear voices or anything like that. If you have ocd you have a thinking disorder which is genetic in origin. Now I never told anyone my ocd thoughts for a long time. I have perfectionism ocd which makes it nearly impossible to admit I had the problem. I had the thoughts since I was a child. Anyway when I told my sister she then said she had ocd thoughts too. The best way is to tell your family directly. Dont tell your friends until you are ready. Most people dont believe ocd is a problem because "they" dont have it themselves, and how can they possible understand weird symptoms. So tell your family directly.

Old 07-18-2004, 02:23 PM   #3
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina
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Jennifer272 HB User
Wink Re: What is the best way to tell someone that I have OCD?

I have told everyone in my life about my ocd and have had no problems really. I have found that people do not mind in the slightest that you have a problem like ocd because most everyone has a problem of some sort. The only problem I have had is when I started relying on friends and family for reasurrance. It took my anxiety away to ask for reassuance from them but what I was actually doing was putting my stress on them. At first my questions that I asked here and there were no problem but then I started doing it more and more and that made it stessful for my loved ones. I understand now that I am feeling better why it stressed them out so much. For one, they could not fix the problem for me which frustrated them. When they fixed one problem I would create another problem that was similar to the first problem but more complex. Another thing is that your loved ones will worry about you. I would also ask the same question over and over again just in case they didn't understand me the first time, I would just phrase it differently. They caught on that it was part of my problem and did not want to support my ocd reassurance habit so they wouldn't want to answer my questions. I would then plead with them and they would give in. I can now see how it was frustrating for them. I know you don't have the same problem as me because you haven't told anyone yet but I just wanted you to know that in my experience no one treated me any differently when they found out about ocd. It actually helped the realationships because they then realized that alot iof my little quirks were because of ocd and they were way more understanding. I think it is a great idea to tell them! I just came straight out and told my close friends and family and it was no big deal. I explained in what way I had ocd because most people associate ocd with hand washing and counting and mine is not like that. I wanted them to understand how mine affected me. Wouldn't you want to know if one of your loved ones was going through a hard time? I hope you get the courage to let them know because it really isn't a big deal.

Old 07-18-2004, 04:53 PM   #4
Join Date: Jul 2004
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xMosquitox HB User
Re: What is the best way to tell someone that I have OCD?

i dont know which is the best way, but i can share my story to you. First, i wasn't planning to tell anyone, but there was a point i think i really needed to see a therapy therefore i decided to tell my mom. I opened a website explaining about OCD, then told my mom to read it. After she was doned, she thought i was just curious about this ocd. Then i told her "i think i have this disorder", since she had read and knew wat ocd is. She asked my wat r my unwanted thoughts. Then i told her everything. It was hard telling her .. she just doesn't understand wat is ocd thoroughly. So far i did not tell any of my friends. It is hard cuz .. the thoughts i have are embarassing ..

Old 07-19-2004, 05:04 AM   #5
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 72
sjd1654 HB User
Re: What is the best way to tell someone that I have OCD?

My whole family has known for many years. However, they don't entirely understand , of course, they do try though. I told my husband, before we wee married. I wanted to make sure everything was clear to him and didn't want to surprise him with my ways afterwards! He was very understanding and supportive. I have only told one friend, because I wanted her to know why I never reciprocated and invited her and her family over to my house. She did listen, but has never mentioned it again. I don't think it is something she is too familiar with. But, we're still friends and I don't feel as guilty never inviting them over. That's about all I've told. I would like to tell my son's friends parents for the same invite reasons, but am cautious about rumors spreading from one mom to another in school. Not gossipy really, but just something they may mention and word travels quickly sometimes. I don't want my son to suffer for any reason.

Old 07-19-2004, 06:55 AM   #6
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Aurora, CO
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bm28 HB User
Re: What is the best way to tell someone that I have OCD?

First of all, I think EVERYONE with OCD has had this same dilemma. I also was completely embarrased and didn't tell anyone for years about it. I have had OCD for almost my entire life (even though I didn't know what it was) and told NO ONE! When I decided to get help I finally told my boyfriend and started therapy. It was extremely difficult enough to tell him and then my therapist and then my psyciatrist. I was like OMG THREE PEOPLE KNOW ABOUT IT NOW THIS IS SPINNING OUT OF CONTROL! With therapy I was eventually able to tell my family who I am very close to and previously couldn't tell them for months. Here is the thing though, you are probably thinking, how do I bring it up???? I tried on so many occasions and It just never seemed like a good time! (I am also very private and didn't want them to worry about me) so what I ended up doing was I wrote my mom, dad and twin sister an e-mail all at the same time. They all three called me that day and were asking a million questions. They are very supportive and even though I had regret at first for telling them, now I'm glad I did because I don't have to hide it from them anymore. Good Luck and let me know if you have any questions. Beth

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