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Helping a friend with bad OCD & intrusive thoughts - whats the best way to do this?



New member
Sep 14, 2020
United Kingdom
Hey guys, looking for a bit of guidance with dealing with a close friend with OCD. She's been having intrusive thoughts that have disturbed her and caused her a great deal of anxiety. She seems to get in a pit of herself where she overthinks these thoughts, especially when things in her day to day life remind her of it. She confuses the intrusive thoughts for that being part of her personality and persona -and she uses talking to me as an escape/outlet for that - she says its the only thing that makes her feel better.

Problem is, even if we rationalize things or come to a conclusion - it's almost a guarantee she feels like complete shit the next morning - like without fail. It's frustrating for me - it makes me feel like our conversations - although short term relief in the moment, arent actually helping. I've read some stuff online about this being aiding compulsions and it being worse in the long run- so I wanted to ask you guys, is that detrimental to her, and if so - what can I do instead to help - I don't want to leave her overthinking stuff on her own (because shes admitted herself she could easily fall into a dark place that way) - but I want to help her in the long run - and try to give her a bit of independence with these thoughts too.


Well-known member
Forum Guide
Nov 10, 2019

There may be some information here that will help


Sep 16, 2020
Los Angeles, CA
I have OCD and intrusive thoughts so I think I can provide some insight on what your friend is going through. First off, I commend you for how much you are trying to help her, you're a good friend!

I think the first thing to note is that no matter how much you try to dissect the conversation with her, talk her down from that thought ledge so to speak, it's not going to make the thoughts disappear. It's going to calm them down for a bit but not fully go away. It's not because she isn't listening to you or that per say you are doing something wrong; her brain just can't help it.

She also probably feels bad that you are dealing with this. Us with intrusive thoughts (at least in my experience) are incredibly prone to guilt. She probably feels bad that you're dealing with this along side her.

Which brings me to what I think you should do; encourage her to seek professional help. You are her friend, you are not a therapist. While it is amazing to be there for her, you can't expect to know how to help her fix this. There is someone who is trained in this who can help provide her with some real coping skills and possibly some medication if that's the right choice. Those things are going to help her manage this.

Once she takes those steps, as her friend you can continue to be there for her by encouraging her treatment, let her know that you're hear to listen to her experience and support her; while a professional takes the reigns of treatment.