Why Mental Health Professionals are Missing Signs of OCD
When you get assessed by a mental health professional you assume that they would be well versed in all possible diagnoses. You assume they will identify, diagnose and treat any possible mental health struggle. Unfortunately that assumption is not only wrong, but dangerous.
OCD seems to be the step-child of mental health education and training. Which is mind boggling considering, according to the International OCD Foundation, 1 out of 100 adults have OCD and 1 out of 200 children and teens do as well.
Think about that for a moment. The same amount of children have OCD as Diabetes. This is not a rare mental health disorder, and yet there is this pervasive lack of training and expertise around the issue.
Mental health professionals aren’t given the education in their graduate programs. They are often not taught that OCD is not just about washing hands or tapping some magical number.
They often don’t realize that a person can have OCD if they have an intrusive thought that they are a bad person and they need to confess all their “bad” thoughts to those they love.
They often don’t understand that a person can have OCD if they have an intrusive feeling that they might stop breathing, so they have to continually take deep breaths.
Or that a person can have OCD if they have an intrusive thought that they want to harm others or themselves. That one in particular can be dire in the hands of a mental health professional who does not understand OCD.
According to the International OCD Foundation, on average it can take someone up to 17 years from the onset of symptoms to get properly diagnosed and begin receiving effective treatment. That is unacceptable.
In this week’s episode of the AT Parenting Survival Podcast, I talk to Cameron Kleimo, a mom, therapist and creator of Sensory Mom, who has a similar story to my own. Her graduate program didn’t teach her how to spot OCD. And it wasn’t until she was stumped by her own child’s behavior that she discovered that they both had OCD.
To learn more about the missed signs of childhood ocd click here.
If you are a mental health professional wanting more training on OCD click here.
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