Jump to content

ex boyfriend has very bad OCD - how can i help?


Recommended Posts

my ex and i had a very difficult breakup - i never really stopped loving him - so we didnt really have a friendship for about a year.


recently we've started talking more, and he also split with his girlfriend which allowed us to spend more time together without the awkwardness and emotional complications of new/old girlfriend etc. we met for a drink a week or so ago, and i casually joked that he was obsessive about things while in our relationship... not really thinking much of it.


about a week ago, i got an email from him, completely out of the blue, telling me that he looked up OCD as a result of my comment, and broke down completely when he realised that he had been suffering from it for the last 20 years or more (he's 31 now). since then he's realised that he's pure-o, a form of OCD which seems to centre on intrusive thoughts and images. this has resulted in him often thinking he is evil, deserves to be punished somehow, wants to die etc - i obviously had no idea how bad this was. the sexual hangups his OCD creates ruined our relationship and two relationships since then.


i am the only person that knows the true extent of his negative thoughts - some are very personal and he hasn't told anyone else. we are suddenly very close again - i am being as supportive and communicative as i can. his emails have absolutely broken my heart at times and had me in floods of tears; his OCD has nearly driven him to insanity and even thoughts of suicide and i am keen to do anything i can to help.


so my question is: is there anything i can do to help, apart from to be there for him when he needs me? can anyone recommend any resources that would help me, as a friend, to counsel him or at least 'say the right things'? and does anyone have any general advice about how to support someone with mental illness? i love this man to death (in a very pure way, i should add, i'm not trying to manipulate anyone here) and desperately want to help him overcome his illness. he has booked appointments to see counselors in the new year, so i wont be his only resource, but at the moment i am his first point of contact.

Link to comment

My son as Pure O. He kept it all inside until he finally had to go into a mental hospital to be diagnosed. The trigger was his first Bipolar episode, but the OCD is just as serious as that.


The best help you could give him is to encourage him to find a great psychologist to talk to. Oh, never mind. I see he is getting help already.


Don't you feel proud that you brought this up? You are the reason he is getting help now.

Link to comment

OK I am possibly not the best person to give advice having not had any experience of OCD, but I have had some personal experience of problem anxiety.


I would suggest that if he has not been to the doctor before about this is to get him to start there as a first step if it's causing him real problems. The GP can then help him decide how best to proceed and get him on a road to improving.


Here are a few ideas from the Royal College of Psychiatrists in the UK for family and friends of someone with OCD:


"Tips for family and friends


* The behaviour of someone with OCD can be quite frustrating – try to remember that he or she is not trying to be difficult or behave oddly - they are coping the best they can.

* It may take a while for someone to accept that they need help. Encourage them to read about OCD and talk it over with a professional.

* Find out more about OCD.

* You may be able to help exposure treatments by reacting differently to your relative's compulsions:


- encourage them to tackle fearful situations;

- say 'no' to taking part in rituals or checking;

- don't reassure then that things are alright.


* Don't worry that someone with an obsessional fear of being violent will actually do it. This is very rare.

* Ask if you can go with them to see their GP, psychiatrist or other professional." Royal College of Psychiatrists


There is further information in the leaflet link removed

Link to comment

savannah, i am not trying to be a counsellor. i'm not stupid. i've helped him make doctors' appointments but until then i wanted some advice on how to keep him positive. miss firecracker, red fox, your posts really inspired me, thanks very much. hopefully he will be better soon.

Link to comment

You sound like a very good friend. I'm not sure there's much more you can do for him aside from what you've already done. Mental health problems are tricky to treat because no two people are the same. He obviously trusts you a lot but you also need to take care of yourself. He may want more from you than you're willing to give. If it comes to that then be honest with him. He might be hurt but ultimately the only person you have to answer to is yourself.


good luck

Link to comment

I am stupid, cherries.


I did try to help my son, but I finally stopped doing that. Now I let the doctor. Thank God he finally found one he loves. They talk about me a lot. The doctor told him that I am probably a chronic complainer. He also told him that he knows where he got his worrying gene.


There is a forum in the UK that is fantastic. Is your friend a member? Maybe as a gift you could buy him a membership. They send out newsletters I think. And they have all sorts of education on the subject. Just Google OCD UK. That should bring it up.

Link to comment


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...