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Dr. Rossi
Dr. Rossi, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 4627
Experience:  PsyD, LPC, CHt
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My roommate has OCD. I thought the worst of the symptoms would

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My roommate has OCD. I thought the worst of the symptoms would be frequent mopping or dusting, but it recently manifested itself in a desire to de-clutter. That sounds like a good thing, and I'm not entirely opposed, except when he has thrown away things that are important to me or placed for recycling items that I had been saving for a reason. For example, a handful of refrigerator magnets he threw in the trash or some saved newspapers and magazines he put in the recycling bin. This was very upsetting to my partner and so I called the roommate on it. He tearfully apologized, was embarrassed and said it wouldn't happen again. He's my best friend and I want to trust him, but can a person with OCD change his behavior just because he wants to? He's promised to seek counseling and possibly go on medication, but how long would this take to treat? My partner and I are trying to make a decision on whether to give him a second chance, or instead to ask him to move out. Thank you for your help.

Dr. Rossi :

Hi,

Dr. Rossi :

How long has he been your roommate?

Dr. Rossi :

And has this ever happened in the past?

Dr. Rossi :

things me being, you may want to put things of santimental and monetary value to you in a safe place. A person can work on controlling their symptoms. Yet, you don't want to wait and see if it happens. You may want to ask him what steps is he going to take to work on this?

Dr. Rossi :

Is he going to consult with a therapist or perhaps his physician for antianxiety medication?

Dr. Rossi :

Giving him a chance is the decent thing to do.

Dr. Rossi :

Individuals w/ OCD really feel out of control at times in restraining their impulses (obsessions/compulsions) With a rise in anxiety level, you may note an increase of these behaviors on his part.

Dr. Rossi :

You could take a card board box and label it "things to check" Place it somewhere that he can see it and tell him that if he has the urge to throw away something of yours or your partner, to place it there first for your inspection.

Dr. Rossi :

I'm not sure if you're online now. Feel free to reply.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I'm sorry for the delays doctor, I'm having troubles with the site. He has been living here for about a month. He's implied that it happened before but that no one ever called him out on it or confronted him about it. He has promised to see a therapist and possibly go on medication for it. I do like the idea of the "things to check" box and agree that giving him another chance seems the decent way to respond.
Try to encourage him to seek professional help sooner than later. Both the counseling and the medication can help him manage these behaviors (which, are causing him significant distress as well). You and your partner may let him know that you'd be willing to give him a chance if he does his part. This is a difficult disorder for both the sufferer and those around him.
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