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How To Support A Friend or Family Member with OCD or ADHD

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Attention Defecit Hyperactivity Disorder can be debilitating to the person living with it, but there are important ways that family and friends can offer support. Therapist Joe Rich shares his best tips for helping your loved one, and it starts with educating yourself. 


How family members can help those suffering from OCD

Educate Yourself and Those Around You 
Educate yourself and those around you on the issues, the treatment options and possible outcomes, side effects etc.   Ask questions throughout the process. 
 
Learn To Listen
You are the parent, sibling, friend, not the mental health professional.  Allow the person to talk about fears, progress, set backs, feelings and more   
 
Don't Judge
understand the person is likely already feeling self-conscious, and ashamed that they are not well.  They may also be feeling "crazy" so judgements will not be helpful.
 
Try the "Figure Out and Fix" Approach 
Reassure the person by using a "figure out and fix approach" that allows for them to figure out what is wrong before they engage in any treatment. (Joe Rich expands on how to do this in the video above)
 
Build A Team
Build a team of friends, family and loved ones that consists of those who are non-judgemental, accepting and helpful. 

Be Hopeful
Not just for them, but also for yourself, and your relationship with the person. OCD is just a one aspect of who they are. 
 

How family members can help those suffering from ADHD

Educate Yourself
"Read books, go to lectures, talk to experts, talk to fellow parents of children with ADHD. Know exactly what ADHD is with confidence."
 
Believe Them
"Believe that if the person with ADD/ADHD could simply 'stop,' or 'behave,' or 'focus better,' they absolutely would!"
 
Know It's Not Your Fault
"Don't personalize the behaviour of the child as 'we are not good parents' or 'our child needs to behave.'"

Meet With Other Parents
"Often, the best resource for ideas and support is with fellow parents who can personally relate to your experience and your struggles."
 
Consider the Challenge of Self-Regulation 
"Consider the challenges ahead, in the world of computers and the internet, where self-regulating his or her behaviour is essential for success. Support these challenges by engaging teachers, social workers, occupational therapists, and ABA specialists who can make suggestions both simple and complex.
 

It’s time we started talking openly about our mental health. Join the conversation on Bell Let’s Talk Day, January 25, and help end the stigma around mental illness. For every text message sent and mobile or long-distance call made by Bell Canada and Bell Aliant customers, Bell will donate five cents to Canadian mental health programs. The same goes for anyone sending a tweet or posting on Instagram using #BellLetsTalk, and for every Bell Let's Talk Facebook video viewed and Snapchat Geofiltered used. But talking about it is just the first step: Visit letstalk.bell.ca for more ways you can effect change and build awareness around mental health.

Related Content:

How To Be a Mental Health Ally to Someone in Need
Is it Ever Too Early to Talk to Your Kids About Mental Health?
Amazing Mental Health Resources You Never Knew You Had
12 Not-So-Helpful Things You’ve Probably Said to Someone With Depression
The Facts on Children's Mental Health


 

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Wednesday, January 25th, 2017

Coming Up

Mon 20 Smart Money Guide! Debbie Travis, Charles The Butler, Ramsin Khachi, & Mary Berg share their best financial advice
Tue 21 One pot dinner and dessert with Vijaya Selveraju
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