I suspect that People living with OCD ,as well as their loved ones, feel like they are the only ones going through this. I know this to be true for me. Logic tells me that other people must have ocd, but I have never knowingly met any of them. I suspect this is largely due to the stigma attached to this 'mental illness'. It is not the kind of thing one brags about. I cannot discuss my worries or problems with anyone else who might remotely understand. How much more poignant must this be for John? How alone must he feel? If no one understands the worries and everyday practical problems of the parent of a child with OCD, how much less does anyone know about what it is like to be that child? Since I realised that OCD was a part of our family I have researched it carefully . Know thine enemy. But even now I acknowledge that I have no idea what is going on in Johns head most of the time. I don't know why he has his compulsions, I don't always know what he is doing and I don't know why or when they will change and evolve. I cannot truly comprehend what it is like to be him . I try to learn a little more each day but I can only imagine his torment. Another factor that isolates the OCD sufferer is its uniqueness. No two sets of symptoms are exactly the same. One person might have obsession with cleanliness, another might be an untidy person obsessed with symmetry. One might constantly check doors are locked, another be condemned to complete meaningless and complex mental rituals, unseen by the observer. The family might not recognise what they have as OCD at first because it does not fit the stereotype of what society perceives it to be. How can he have OCD when his bookshelf is a mess?