OCD hooks our kids in with a lie. If you just do this you’ll feel more comfortable. But the reality is, OCD will never let them feel comfortable. The only way through OCD is to learn how to handle the discomfort. When our kids sit in discomfort OCD loses all its power.
You’ll often hear the word “fight your OCD.” In fact, one of my favorite books about OCD is called Talking Back to OCD, by John March. But sometimes kids misunderstand what this means (and parents too). When we talk about fighting OCD we are usually talking about a counterintuitive way to push back. A way to approach OCD that may not seem like traditional “fighting” at all.
In this week’s podcast I talk about the counterintuitive way to “fight” OCD and why we need to clarify this with our kids.
OCD is clever and can easily outsmart our kids by convincing them to do what feels intuitively right. If OCD says they should avoid, they avoid. If OCD says they should do something to make the discomfort go away, they do it.
In part 5 of this 5 part YouTube series, I talk to kids about how listening to what OCD wants will always grow their struggles. We talk about what ERP (Exposure Response Prevention) therapy is and how it can help.
Many of us learn how to help our kids with anxiety or OCD, but are we doing enough to help them help themselves? Helping our kids own their journey is key to their long-term success.
One of the biggest barriers our kids have around crushing OCD is the belief that OCD is keeping them safe. When our kids join hands with OCD and see themselves as a united front, it can be hard to convince them otherwise. In part 4 of this 5 part YouTube series, I talk to kids about how OCD is not keeping them safe and how that belief is at the heart of what is holding them back.
Often kids and even parents are focusing on the wrong thing when it comes to OCD.
How can I make these thoughts go away?
I’m doing therapy, why are the thoughts still there?
How long does it take to make these thoughts or feelings leave?
These are the wrong questions. None of us have the power to stop intrusive thoughts or feelings. The only thing we have the power over is how we respond to these thoughts and feelings.
Anxiety and OCD can cause our children to act in ways that can be overwhelming, disheartening and sometimes even hurtful. It is easy to fall into the trap of taking our children’s anxiety or OCD personally. In this week’s AT Parenting Survival Podcast I talk about the many ways we can take our children’s anxiety or OCD behaviors personally, and what we can do instead.
5 Things Every Child with OCD Should Know: Here is #2 This video is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the guidance of a qualified professional. The reason why OCD is so hard to control is because kids (and parents) often do what feels intuitively right – they rationalize, problem-solve and feed OCD. -If OCD says to be afraid of germs, […]
It might surprise some people that the fear of throwing up, Emetophobia, is one of the most common anxiety and OCD themes. For those of us raising a child with it, it isn’t surprising at all! Sometimes this fear is triggered by an event or experience, but often it is the imagination alone that causes this immobilizing concern. We all throw up and many of us see others throw up, but we are able to move past it without too much residual impact.
OCD can make kids feel guilty, gross, or crazy. It is one of the main reasons why people often keep their intrusive thoughts and feelings to themselves. What if people think I’m crazy? What if they think I’m weird? What if they think I’m sick or disgusting? The truth is, we all have intrusive thoughts and feelings. We all have thoughts that feel foreign, bizarre, or disturbing. Many of us might hyperfocus on a bodily function or get an image or song stuck in our heads.
We will all fall short sometimes and so will our children with anxiety or OCD. They will avoid, they will crumble, they will give in to their anxiety or OCD. That is all par for the course. More often than not they will view these situations as “failures.” They might beat themselves up or use the experience as evidence that they can’t do it again.
Summer is here and with that comes extra free time for most of our kids with anxiety or OCD. You would think that would be a wonderful thing. Less pressure from school, homework and peer interactions. Less places to be and less things to do. But for some of our kids that extra downtime can actually increase their anxiety or OCD issues.
Anxiety and OCD love to feed on avoidance. It will make our kids avoid all sorts of things. But the most powerful thing it can make them avoid is even talking about anxiety or OCD. When they avoid talking about anxiety or OCD they can’t make progress. It keeps them stuck in a loop that continues to grow anxiety or OCD.
It’s hard enough to parent a child with anxiety or OCD, but when your own mental health issues are added to the mix, it can be all-encompassing. But it’s not all bad. Having your own anxiety or OCD issues can help you be a better parent to a child with anxiety or OCD.
There are so many things we want to control in our lives. None of us want to die, get sick, get rejected, get judged, get hurt. None of us want to be overwhelmed with feelings of hurt, harm, embarrassment or disgust. None of us want to second guess our actions, behaviors or future.