There is a sense of community that exists in a well-run support group: It can mean finding others who know how you feel, or being seen as someone with a disorder rather than as the disorder itself. If you are reading this, you have likely been affected by OCD or a related disorder in some way, either as an individual with OCD or a related disorder, or as a family member or supporter watching someone struggle with the disorder.
While support groups are not meant to be a substitute for individual therapy, they can serve as a great step in that direction, or as an important addition to therapy, or part of a relapse prevention plan. Peers can offer something different than a therapist, and this should not be underestimated. Meeting other people going through similar situations can be very healing and beneficial — it can make people feel less lonely and isolated, as well as more connected to and understood by others.
The IOCDF Resource Directory lists over 200 support groups for OCD and related disorders around the world. Groups are offered for individuals with the disorder, in addition to their family, loved ones, and caregivers.
If there is not a support group in your area:
- Consider starting your own! You don’t need to be a mental health professional to run an effective support group. Take a look at our Guide to Starting a Support Group here.
- Join and online or phone-based support group. There are many well-run online support groups that you can access from ANYWHERE in the world. Click here to learn more.
List your support group in the Resource Directory:
If you already run a support group for OCD and related disorders in your area, you can create a free listing in our Resource Directory to help more people find your group.