Anxiety and OCD are often talked about in the same breath and frequently come hand in hand. Someone suffering from issues with anxiety may well end up developing OCD type behavior as a mechanism with which to cope with this, leading to a spiral of destructive habits that can be harmful not only to them but also to their friends, family and partners.
First of all, let’s have a look at what exactly we mean when we use these two terms.
Anxiety is a feeling of fearfulness towards the future which can lead to the individual finding it very hard to cope with day to day situations. Those struggling with particularly bad anxiety will often feel exhausted and stressful, which in turn can make them argumentative, meaning that interactions can become strained.
OCD is commonly a series of repeated patterns and behaviors that are performed by the individual to impose some order on their day to day lives. What starts as this kind of coping mechanism can become obsessional and end up holding sway over an individual’s normal life as they feel compelled to perform these rituals above all other concerns. This can have obvious and upsetting ramifications to those in a relationship with them.
It is clear that these are two very damaging states to find oneself in, not only for the sufferer but also the person in a relationship with them who will often feel shut out from their loved one’s life. If this is happening to you, you might begin to blame yourself for their situation or feel as though you are not doing enough to help them cope with their issue.
As anxiety can make people argumentative and defensive, any attempt to discuss things can seem to make the situation worse and it will be difficult for this not to spark further resentments and a deeper rift between you both. Irrational behavior is common and it is not unheard of for people to throw away productive, happy and supportive relationships rather than work on the root core of their problems in the hope that things will work out better for them next time. The issues not being dealt with will follow them into their next relationship and the pattern repeats, worsens and gives rise to a whole host of other issues and avoidance techniques. This can involve infidelity, drugs and alcohol or other means of escapism rather than confronting the core of the problem.
Those suffering from anxiety and OCD are often all too aware of the situation. They will know, even if only via a small voice at the back of their minds, that there is an issue that they need to address. Doing so can seem like a difficult and terrifying task, so it is common for the suffer to push these thoughts away and hope that things will get better.
Sadly, this is not a solution to the problem, which will continue to get worse over time. The longer these issues are ignored or not treated, the deeper they become attached to the person, and they can eventually come to define them.
If it is something that you or a loved one are dealing with, then external input can be a great benefit. An objective view of the situation at hand can help defuse any accusatory feelings and hopefully help find a solution for you. If this is something that you would like assistance with, then we would be happy to talk more about how we can be of help to you.