As I’ve said before, one of the most heartbreaking aspects of OCD is the frequent occurrence of recovery avoidance. Obsessive-compulsive disorder is a potentially devastating disorder, but it is treatable. Yet so many sufferers are so terrified of treatment, and perhaps of even getting better, that they cannot bring themselves to even attempt Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) Therapy.
So what can we do when someone we love has OCD but is not “ready” for treatment? The above article gives suggestions which include expressing our concerns to our loved ones, not enabling them, and continuing to live our own lives in a positive manner. So many families of those with recovery avoidance follow these recommendations as best they can. Sometimes there are positive results, and other times, the OCD sufferer continues to deteriorate before their very eyes.
It’s hard, especially for parents who are used to making everything “all better,” not to intervene. How can we just sit around and watch our loved ones get sicker and sicker? And so we continue to search for therapists, continue to learn everything we can about OCD and its treatment, and continue to look into every program and facility out there. These are all positive actions but the truth is unless the person suffering from OCD is ready to accept help, our efforts are likely to be futile.
To me, the big question is how can we persuade OCD sufferers to commit to treatment? We try talking to them, and taking them to a myriad of health-care professionals who also try to get through to them. We feel desperate, and resort to begging, pleading, and even yelling at our loved ones because we don’t know what else to do. They say we don’t understand, and it’s true, we don’t. Who could understand?
Other OCD sufferers. What if we could form a network of those who have suffered severely from OCD and have found their way back to good health? What if these people were willing to have a conversation or, as long as I’m dreaming, even visit with those who do not yet have the strength to fight? Certainly we have seen how blogging, connecting at conferences, and attending support groups can be beneficial. What I envision is an established resource, a speaker’s bureau of sorts, comprised of people who are willing to use their own experiences with OCD and successful treatment to help others gather the courage to pursue wellness. Not so much speaking to an audience, but one-on-one. Is this feasible? Does it already exist and I don’t know about it?
I’d love to hear your thoughts about this idea, as well as any other suggestions you might have as to how we can help those who avoid recovery. There must be a way we can make a difference in the lives of those who are trapped by severe OCD.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead.