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#OCDWeek Notice- How can parents, carers and friends help young people with OCD?

Media notice: International OCD Awareness Week - October 7-13 2018 #OCDWeek

What is it like living with OCD?

How can parents, carers and friends of sufferers help?

Hope with OCD

Experts available for interview:

  • Lynn Crilly, counsellor specialising in OCD and eating disorders, low self-esteem, anxiety and depression in children, teens and young people.
  • Lynn Crilly's daughter, Samantha Crilly, who has experience of OCD.
  • Lynn Crilly's daughter, Charlotte Crilly, Samantha's twin sister on how challenging it can be as a sibling.

Book for review/extract:

  • Hope with OCD by Lynn Crilly, May 2018, Hammersmith Books, £14.99.
  • Next book - Hope with Eating Disorders by Lynn Crilly, due for release February 2019, Hammersmith Books. Advance review copies available from November 2019.



Suggested talking points:

  1.                What is OCD and are there different levels of severity?*
  2.                How do you know if your loved one has OCD? How is it diagnosed?
  3.                Can children have OCD?
  4.                What are three key red flags for parents to look out for in their child?
  5.                If you think someone may have OCD, what steps can be taken to get help?
  6.                How can families help if a member has OCD?
  7.                What is the biggest myth or misconception about OCD?
  8.                You write, recovery is always possible, which will be so comforting for people feeling lost or alone with OCD - or helping someone with OCD - but what sort of help is there out there for people?
  9.                How can a carer/parent/friend of someone with OCD open the conversation with them about what sort of support they would like / how they could help?
  10.            Is there a link between OCD and eating disorders?


Lynn Crilly writes:"I have learnt through all of this, the importance of constant communication, patience, non-judgement, unconditional love and most of all HOPE. I have also learnt that in fact there is no such thing as the ‘perfect' family or ‘perfect' life. Trying to be perfect is not only unrealistic, it can be dangerous. It's more about finding what works for you and your familyand what makes you all happy."


About the book - Hope with OCD (taken from the book):

Having experienced at first hand some of what you are going through, my main aim in writing this new book is to help you identify and understand the symptoms of OCD as early as you possibly can, which in turn will enable early intervention with the appropriate treatment. Both of these are paramount for a quicker and more effective recovery. I try to answer some of the questions that I am asked frequently, and my objective is to give you, the reader, the hope and belief that you have the strength and courage not only to support and guide your child/friend/ loved-one through these turbulent waters, but to be able to see them safely to the other side, where they, and indeed everyone closely involved with them, will be able to move forward with their lives. I would like this book to act as a road map not only for those who simply do not know where to turn for help, but also for those who would like to have a clearer understanding of the condition.

I hope to relieve you of some of the burden, confusion and pain you may be feeling, as you enter the unknown, and to arm you with as much knowledge, guidance and strength as I can, to enable you to continue your journey with courage, trusting in your own personal skills and instinct, just as I did. Remember always that communication is the key, along with unconditional love, non-judgement, patience and hope.

This book emphasises that each OCD sufferer is individual and unique; there is no ‘right' or ‘wrong' path to recovery. My own experience demonstrates that each family or support network must take whatever action is right for them; if one option proves ineffective, try another - never buy into the myth that OCD is incurable; never give up hope and never give up trying.

Sadly, there are no quick fixes; only perseverance and time can heal. I do not pretend to be an expert on everything and I am still learning, but I hope with the benefit of my first-hand experience, knowledge and natural empathy, I can help you, the reader (whether you are battling with OCD personally or you are a carer), work towards a happier and healthier future together. Always have hope because anything is possible... my family is living proof of that.

Over the pages that follow you will share the experiences of other carers and sufferers, and realise that the emotions you may be experiencing are normal and natural. You will be given an insight into how your loved one is thinking and feeling, with the aim of providing you with a genuine understanding of their condition. I have also included an unbiased guide to some different types of treatment available within and outside of the NHS. All the contributors and therapists are real people, but some have had their names changed to protect their identity.


* OCD symptoms can range from mild to severe. Some sufferers may spend an hour or so a day engaged in obsessive compulsive thinking and behaviour, but sadly for others the condition can completely take over and rule their lives. Whichever is the case, it is extremely frustrating and very destructive for the person having to carry out these rituals, as it is also for the people around them watching it happen.

It is not clear what causes OCD and, although there are various theories surrounding its development, it is currently thought to be a combination of biological, genetic, cognitive and environmental factors acting together or individually as a trigger. (Taken from Hope with OCD).