Anxiety and OCD often make our kids push back on help. It might create an us vs them mentality in their mind. It might make them spin their wheels thinking about how they can avoid therapy, hide their compulsions or get others to give in to their anxiety or OCD. Unfortunately, this approach is a boomerang that only winds up hurting them and their long-term progress in the end. In this week’s Youtube video, I talk to kids and teens about how to be honest with themselves about their view of the help they are receiving. I encourage them to take the wheel and start steering their own journey while welcoming the support that surrounds them.
Your child’s OCD doesn’t stay neatly in its lane. It involves everyone around them, especially their family. It will try to get family members involved in their compulsions. It will use family as a tool to grow OCD. Knowledgeable family members get this. That is why family members will often pull back their accommodations and their entanglement in growing the OCD. When family members pull back, it is common for OCD to feel the rage of not being fed. This might overcome your child or teen in that moment. In this week’s Youtube video I talk to kids and teens about how to handle the anger that comes when family members won’t accommodate their OCD and how to see the long term benefit of this type of support.
One of OCD’s most powerful weapons is the threat that if the compulsion is not done, something bad will happen. This will look different for each person depending on their theme, but the overarching message is, your worst fear will come true if you don’t do what I want. In this week’s Youtube video I am teaching kids the idea of OCD magical thinking and I explore how they can entangle themselves from this threatening relationship.
How our kids talk to their OCD can make or break their long term progress. Do they argue, debate or try to distract themselves from OCD’s banter? Or do they outsmart OCD accepting the thoughts or even sarcastically agreeing with them? In this week’s Youtube video I talk to kids and teens about how to talk to OCD in a way that will propel their progress.
One of OCD’s most powerful weapons is the need to know things for certain. This can happen in so many OCD themes. . OCD convinces you that you won’t feel relief until you know *for sure*. The only problem is we’ll never be 100% certain about anything? So, in this week’s Youtube video I talk about how to handle OCD’s taunts about uncertainty and how to push back with your own powerful weapon – acceptance.
As therapists, we teach people with OCD to accept their intrusive thoughts without doing compulsions. We might even suggest that they sarcastically agree with their OCD thoughts so they don’t fall into the trap of arguing with OCD. But what if OCD uses those skills against them? What if OCD tells them that because they are able to accept or even sarcastically agree with their intrusive thoughts that somehow they are true? In this week’s Youtube video I talk to kids and teens about how OCD can try to outsmart them and how they can stand their ground.
One of the most common anxiety and OCD fears is death and dying. Most of us don’t want to die, but for some this level of fear robs them from living. In this week’s Youtube video I talk to kids and teens about how to tackle the fear of death and start living life again.
Anxiety is like playing checkers, but OCD is like playing chess. You can try to rationalize with anxiety. You can problem-solve and try to talk yourself out of anxiety. It may not be easy, but with skills, you can make some headway. But OCD is a different game entirely. OCD will easily outsmart you if you don’t know the rules of the game.
Many of us get songs stuck in our heads, that’s common. But when you have OCD, thoughts, images and even songs can get “sticky.” In this week’s Youtube video I talk to kids and teens about why this becomes an OCD issue and how to overcome it.
There are two ways to approach OCD. The first is to align with OCD and appease, negotiate and listen to the rules it dictates. The world outside of OCD is the problem. The second is to recognize that OCD is not a friend, confidante or protector. It does not dictate rational rules to keep you safe or comfortable. It is the discomfort maker. In this week’s Youtube I am talking to kids and teens about this and asking them, which way do they want to see OCD?
It is not uncommon for our kids (and us) to worry about worrying. They might wonder: What if my anxiety or OCD grows bigger? What if I am not able to go to school or get a job? What if I can’t find happiness? Feeling worried about their future can impact their present. It can also rob them (and you) of any energy they might have to meet these struggles head on. In this week’s Youtube video I talk to kids and teens about how to handle their fears of the future, while making progress in the here and now.
OCD isn’t always about fears, sometimes it is about feelings. A feeling of incompleteness is common in OCD. One way OCD shows up is in the feeling you didn’t “catch it all.” You might have a feeling of incompleteness or it might trigger other themes like, “am I lying if I said I read this?” Or “will something bad happen if I don’t reread or rewatch this?” This can cause people with OCD to read and reread lines, paragraphs or chapters. It can make people rewind and rewatch videos over and over again. It can make you ask people to repeat themselves or explain themselves over and over again.
Anxiety and OCD can rob us of the things we love the most. It can also be a powerful tool to motivate our kids to work on their anxiety or OCD. In this Youtube video I talk to kids and teens about what anxiety or OCD is taking away from them and what things they want to take back