Education Can Be Fun

Perhaps a more enjoyable way to educate others about OCD is to steer them toward sensitive portrayals in the media (now that sensitive portrayals exist), which you can then discuss together. Cable TV's Monk, for example, might help friends to recognize your behavior while at the same time enjoying a gentle laugh with you. Of course, it is important for any viewer to understand that Monk, and other TV shows and movies, are fiction. For one thing, no real OCD sufferer could endure as many compulsions as the fictional Adrian Monk. (And no real detective, obsessive-compulsive or otherwise, could solve such a high number of complex homicides!)

The Personal Touch

If you are currently in therapy, you might be able to bring along an interested family member (or members) to one of your sessions, so that you can talk together with your therapist. (Alternatively, your therapist might be willing to hold a phone conversation with a family member who is particularly distressed or concerned about your behavior, or geographically distant from you.)

Try To Be Accommodating

One thing to keep in mind is flexibility. Although you may feel enthusiastic about a movie or TV show, for instance, that you believe illustrates your situation almost perfectly, your friend may prefer reading about the disorder to watching TV or renting a DVD. Accept any interest as a good thing, and offer alternatives if you can.

Another thing to remember is that, unfortunately, not everyone may want to be educated. Friends or family members might feel overwhelmed by your OCD and not wish to talk or hear about it. That may feel hurtful, but it is a possibility that you will also need to accept, at least for the time being.

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