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- Best to chat for free: 7 Cups
- Best for co-occurring conditions: Anxiety and Depression Association of America
- Best for video-based meetings: OCD Peers
- Best for joining multiple support groups: SupportGroups.com
- Best online community: HealthUnlocked
Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is best described as a mental health condition involving uncontrollable obsessions that can lead to compulsive behaviors. In severe cases, OCD can interfere with many aspects of life, including relationships and responsibilities.
Medication and therapy are among the most common treatment options for people with OCD. Support groups, whether in-person or online, may also be a helpful reminder that they aren’t alone.
Keep reading to find out more about what support groups for people living with OCD have to offer, and whether they’re a good option for you.
OCD support groups offer people an opportunity to attend regular meetings with other people living with OCD.
These meetings are considered a safe space where people with similar experiences can support each other. This can help reduce the feeling of loneliness and create a sense of community.
In-person OCD support groups are the most conventional, but online platforms are also an option. Many online platforms offer discussion forums, live video meetings, and text-based chat rooms, depending on your level of comfort and privacy.
To select the best online OCD support groups, we considered important factors, like:
Typically, anyone can join and view online support groups for free, so it’s crucial that members seeking support can retain their privacy.
We also looked at reviews to find groups with the most satisfied users.
Best to chat for free
- Price: Free and paid options
Those looking for free online support might find themselves chatting with a trained volunteer on 7 Cups, a free emotional health service.
Signing up is free and easy. When enrolling, you can create your own username or use one recommended to you by the username generator. This ensures your privacy when chatting with trained listeners, participating in group chats, or posting in the site’s communities.
One of the options when connecting with a trained listener is OCD. This alerts your listener, so you can have pointed support. You can also seek support for loneliness, anxiety, depression, LGBTQ+ issues, and more.
Though 7 Cups offers many free services, the company is also an online therapy provider. Trained volunteers can listen and help users by talking through their concerns, but they aren’t licensed mental health professionals.
If you’re considering online therapy, 7 Cups has paid options.
Best for co-occurring conditions
- Price: Varies
When anxiety or depression occur alongside other mental health conditions, such as OCD, this is known as co-occurring conditions.
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) specializes in supporting those with anxiety and depression, as well as those who experience OCD alongside anxiety or depression.
ADAA offers resources for mental health, including a roster of online support groups for various conditions.
The list features the International OCD Foundation, which offers online OCD camps for children, online conferences on hoarding, online support groups for OCD, and more.
Best for video-based meetings
- Price: $20–$35 per meeting
OCD Peers is a service that offers virtual peer-support groups using a HIPAA-compliant platform.
You can choose from two main group meetings to attend: OCD Support Groups and Community Nights.
OCD Support Groups are more intimate, with an estimated 6 to 10 people at a time (not including group leaders) who come from a variety of backgrounds. These meetings have an agenda but also allow for open discussion.
Community Nights consist of up to 25 people and last for a longer duration. Each person is encouraged to share, followed by discussion as a group.
Compared with other options, OCD Peers isn’t as affordable. Participants pay per group meeting instead of a monthly membership. The company also doesn’t offer free support groups.
To participate, you must register and pay for the meeting in advance, which can be inconvenient for people who don’t have flexible schedules.
Best for joining multiple support groups
- Price: Free
SupportGroups.com is a free directory of 220+ online support groups, one of which is the popular OCD Support Group with more than 44,000 members.
People with OCD are invited to join this network of people with similar experiences in a safe environment.
When you join the group, you’re prompted to share how you’re feeling. Fellow users can press the heart icon to show support, or leave a comment to initiate a discussion. Private messages are also allowed for one-on-one peer support.
Though some online support groups are associated with bullying and harassment, each group on SupportGroups.com is moderated. If someone is sending you unwanted messages, SupportGroups.com allows you to block them.
Best online community
- Price: Free
HealthUnlocked is an online resource available 24/7 for people going through similar health experiences.
The platform offers online support groups, including My OCD Community with thousands of members. The site gets millions of visitors each month, but some features are only available to registered users.
In My OCD Community, members can start a discussion by writing a post or asking a question, which usually initiates several responses from other members. Users can also like others’ posts to show their support.
Users must comply with the Community Guidelines. The group is moderated by the International OCD Foundation and HealthUnlocked to ensure all members act in accordance with the guidelines.
An OCD support group might be right for you if you’ve been diagnosed with OCD and seek additional support.
OCD symptoms may include:
- intrusive thoughts
- persistent worrying
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, around
Since sharing in support groups may be optional, it can be helpful to listen to other members’ experiences and feelings. If the session is led by a group leader, it can also be valuable to hear what they have to say about coping strategies.
However, an OCD support group should not replace medication or therapy. Online support groups are best for people who seek additional support to supplement their regular treatment.
OCD support groups do not provide diagnosis. To receive a proper diagnosis and discuss treatment options, speak with a licensed mental health professional.
There are many online OCD support groups to look into, whether you want to attend regular video meetings or participate in online chats. Many of these groups are free to attend, making online communities accessible.
People with OCD and other mental health conditions may find comfort and community in safe online spaces where they can share their thoughts freely and without judgement.
Millions of people will experience OCD at some point in their lifetime.
Using an online support group is a reminder that you aren’t alone, and you’re supported.
Lacey Muinos is a health, wellness, and beauty writer based in Southern California. She holds a BA in English. Her work has appeared in digital publications like Livestrong, Verywell, Business Insider, Eat This Not That, and others. When she’s not writing, Lacey is likely pursuing her other interests: skin care, plant-based cooking, pilates, and traveling. You can keep up with her by visiting herwebsite or herblog.