Why is reassuring bad?

This post has been thanked 1 time. 19 September 2017 - 3:07

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Hi guys hope you are all awesome.

Ive been on here for a while and see people saying reassuring is a bad thing. I was diagnosed with ocd years ago and deal with it in my own way and is largely sucessful (aprt from a few slips) and a lot of my family and closest friends dont know I have it and think I am just 'quirky'

Anyways, my missus is showing symptoms of ocd, she has other mental issues and spoken to her shrink about it, although she hasnt been diagnosed with ocd I notice her checking and checking and becoming worse. Any time we leave the flat, I have to check all the taps and make sure the cooker is off and recheck the front door for her after ive locked it.

Am I making things worse for her by doing this? Should I not be checking for her when she asks? With the cooker, I tell her if the big red switch is off the cooker can not be on, but she will still check all the knobs and make sure they are all off. I dont know if I should be checking for her and giving reassurance or not just because ive read that it is bad.

This post has been thanked 2 times. 19 September 2017 - 10:55

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Hi!

Essentially if someone with OCD is using reassurance as a compulsion (which by the sounds of things is what's happening here) then reassurance is negative. Compulsions reinforce the obsession and increase the OCD. They offer short term relief that will not help in the long run. With OCD recovery, essentially the aim is to avoid compulsions and learn how to sit with your anxiety and avoid using compulsions as a coping mechanism to 'zap' the anxiety short term. 

Reassurance is a particularly tricky one because naturally you want to soothe your loved one, but in the case of OCD you're not helping in the long run by offering them this relief. Reassurance as a compulsion has actually been described as "up there with crack cocaine" in terms of addiction - the more you get the more you need! 

If google search OCD, reassurance and family members, you'll probably get some good advice on how you can respond to help her out long term. 

 

This post has been thanked 1 time. 19 September 2017 - 23:18

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Thanks for that, I will certainly look stuff up

It is hard not helping but not helping would help more if that makes sense.

 

This post has been thanked 2 times. 20 September 2017 - 0:33

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Giving emotional support is ok.

This post has been thanked 1 time. 20 September 2017 - 1:22

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It would be hard cause I know how frustrating it can be leaving the house sometimes. Ill try not to reassure too much and hopefully things bet better

This post has been thanked 1 time. 21 September 2017 - 9:39

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Perhaps it would be easier if you considered that the content is not the problem, the anxiety is the problem. Reassurance about the content is consequently pointless and only fuels the fire. Instead, you both need to address the root of the problem which is the OCD. There are lots of resources for friends and families of people with OCD which can probably give more specific examples of how to help. As a sufferer all I really want is for people to be understanding, supportive and patient  

21 September 2017 - 18:05

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Reassurance verifies your alarm is true when it is not.

21 September 2017 - 22:58

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Hi there, the problem with reassurance in ocd, is that it can simply dredge up something else. Something maybe long forgotten? I used to seek reassurance everywhere, asking people around me so I could feel better. But that in itself led to asking even more questions... We have to try and resist the urge to seek asking our frazzled friends and family, and just allow life to just happen. Tempt fate every so-often....

Wannabe 

 

21 September 2017 - 23:29

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Reassurance is temporary so people just come back for more.

This post has been thanked 1 time. 22 September 2017 - 2:32

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Thanks everyone I'll try my best, I know exactly what it like for her, I can be the same at times. We see how it goes

This post has been thanked 1 time. 22 September 2017 - 18:34

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Suppose I say to not put the sponge on the table, something may happen. So you don't put the sponge on the table. By doing that you verified that something may happen when you know it won't. Thus, enforcing Ocd.