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Three locations serving Los Angeles, San Diego and The South Bay!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

OCD and Anxiety made worse by family members?

OCD and anxiety symptoms can increase through the unintentional enabling of spouses and parents.  

This is very common because those that love you do not want to see you in pain.  So, they might support your anxiety by assisting you in avoiding it.  

For example, a spouse might do all the shopping because you're afraid to go into the grocery store.  Or maybe your wife or husband declines all social invitations due to the fact that social settings make you anxious.  

A parent might help a child check under the bed a specific number of times or not send their child to camp due to their fear of germs.

Although these acts come from a loving place, they serve to maintain and even increase obsessions, compulsions and anxiety over time.  

How?  Because every time one avoids that which they fear, it serves to reinforce the anxiety or obsession.  So, when family members help you avoid that which makes you anxious, it only serves to solidify symptoms.

What should family members do for you if you suffer with OCD and anxiety?  Well, it's time for some tough love.  They can encourage you to face your fears.  They can be clear that they know by engaging in behaviors that support your OCD and anxiety, they're actually helping you to maintain it.  And then stop.  No more enabling.  

For riveting examples of what it takes to reduce OCD and anxiety symptoms, check out my episodes (and all the others!) on the inspiring A&E TV show "Obsessed"  by following this link and clicking "episodes".


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The April Center for Anxiety Attack Management - Los Angeles and The South Bay

The April Center for Anxiety Attack Management is committed to helping you remove the destructive barriers of anxiety, so that you may lead a calmer, healthier, happier life.

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