I came across this website after looking for some information. I found a post by a mother worried for her daughter and I was moved by her urgent cry for help. I am posting this in the hope that it might help someone in the future, especially since I disagree with the use of medication. I had OCD for 17 years. My compulsions lasted nearly round the clock. I'm 28 now, healthy, and doing well in life, without medication.
First and foremost, I think it is important for the people around the sufferer to calm down. It is important to create a mindful environment to address these issues. I would also recommend to taper off the medication - I think a medical doctor would be useful to consult about how to - and replace with helpful, natural cures.
I have found that fish oil works really. Barleans is a great company. Try high potency liquid fish oil. I think a higher dosage is warranted here: try the usual dosage, two times a day, once in the morning, and then 8 hrs later again. B-vitamins are also crucial. Megafood is great company. If you do not want to use pills, try some food like organic calf liver, or clams, which are high in these b-vitamins. nutritiondata.self.com is a great website to consult. I would also highly recommend to try some tulsi tea (holy basil tea, it is herbal). It is extremely good at reducing physical stress which I know is excessive in someone who thinks they are battling death.
It's also important to stay away from stimulants, especially caffeine. Please cut out any coffee, or tea. Please also make the person eat well, and regularly. But don't make it boring, like its medicine. The person doesn't need to feel like there is something wrong with them.
The person also needs to be physically active. I used to drum a lot. It helps put the person at ease. But don't overdo it. Any type of physical, or mental stress, can worsen the situation. Once again, tulsi tea will help with this stress.
Once these measures are in place, a dialogue can begin. One must understand what is going on in the person's head first. Imagine yourself in a dangerous situation. You will naturally feel: alert, extremely anxious, paranoid, etc. The problem is this: The person thinks the danger is real due to something illogical as the emotions are very real. In that state, the person - rather a heightened animal (no offense intended, it is a matter of fact whether you want to believe it or not) - is trying to protect itself. When the signal is sent to the higher cortex, rather like the CEO of a company, the person decides what to do with that signal for danger. Unfortunately, due to a past habit, the person reacts as he/she deems fit by undertaking some illogical action which he/she BELIEVES (and they sincerely do - try shaking off your esteemed values when someone talks to you about them) will stop the emotion. Now once they take the compulsion, the emotions wean off, or might become less intense. Which only further encourages the habit.
Once you have understood this, it is important to try to convey to the person how this works, and opt to confront the danger WITH THEM. Be patient (see being about mindful above) and do not force anything. For example, I was extremely worried about the symmetry and balance of my face (weird, I know.. now) And so I kept my face in a position I thought looked more symmetrical all day, and I compulsively checked myself in the mirror all day. Long story short, I stopped doing this because I literally talked myself out of it after making an effort to educate myself and broaden my mind.
So it is important that you confront the fears with your loved one, like you are going into hell's den with them and measure up the devil for yourself. Take cleanliness for example. Well, litter a place. The person will feel the tick to do something. But tell them to try to see what happens THIS TIME if they don't. Stay with them. Hold their hand. Drink juice, eat something, listen to their favourite music, etc, make a damn party out of it if you will, let everyone offer their support, and make them see that everything is fine, that nothing is happening, FOR AS LONG AS NECESSARY. They will feel scared at first, and may even want to do something, but tell them to just be patient, to just see what happens THIS TIME. Until and unless, the person lights up, and i mean physically lights up, you know you have to keep trying. Be patient. You have to show the person, without making them feel small about it, that it is illogical.
Next up, broaden their mind. Watch videos of space, how big the earth is, how many things there are in life to do, and to explore. Hook them on life instead.
And last but not least, turn this into a healthy habit. You have someone who is not well, take care of them, with good food, some good supplements, exercise and open communication.
Please message if you need any help. Thanks for reading.