How to Help Our Kids Handle Intrusive Thoughts It is hard to watch your child being bombarded with intrusive thoughts day and night. No parent wants to see their child suffer, but how are they supposed to help their kids? Unfortunately when it comes to OCD, the answer is often counterintuitive. In this week’s AT Parenting Survival Podcast I explore the nature of intrusive thoughts […]
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 […]
Helping Kids Cope with Bad Thoughts Having “bad thoughts” is the hallmark of both anxiety and OCD. I often get asked questions like, “How do I get rid of bad thoughts” and “How can I make bad thoughts go away?” Those aren’t the right questions to be asking. It isn’t the bad thoughts that are the issue, it is how we respond to those bad […]
What to Do When OCD Makes Your Child Doubt They Have OCD OCD loves to make people doubt. It loves to make people doubt so much that it can even make them doubt they have OCD. Even when they have been diagnosed. Even when they have been successful in treatment. Often this doubt comes when OCD is desperate, when the person has made some great […]
Helping Kids with Intrusive Thoughts We all have intrusive thoughts, but when you have OCD those thoughts get stuck in your head. They get loud and constant and are hard to ignore. So how is someone meant to get any relief from OCD and these thoughts? It is often the opposite of what you may think. OCD wants you to argue with it. It wants […]
How to Help a Child Who Gets Images Stuck in Their Head We all get songs stuck in our head from time to time. But kids with anxiety or OCD have “sticky” minds. Things get stuck in their brains all the time. When a child gets images stuck in their head, it can cause some serious distress. They might wonder: When will this image […]
A young girl worries she might stick out her middle finger, so she goes around keeping her hands in tight fists. Another boy worries he’ll go to hell if he lies, so he can’t even answer a simple question. A teenager boy is fearful he is staring at his teacher’s breasts, so he looks at the floor the entire day. And the saddest part? No one knows these kids are even suffering. Not their parents, not their teachers, not their friends.
It often starts off with a question. “Mom if I touch my mouth after I touched the Clorox wipe, is that safe?” It might pick up steam from there… “Mom if the shampoo gets in my eyes, will I go blind? From there the questions can be endless and never ending.
“Why on earth did I think that?!” – that is at the heart of many OCD Intrusive thoughts. The fear of the thought itself. Having disturbing thoughts is….disturbing. But what is even more upsetting is that you had the thought at all.
It is hard to watch your child with OCD struggle. It is hard to try and motivate them to fight the urge to do compulsions. It is hard to watch as they get stuck over and over again. Parents need support. Kids need support. The more a child can understand how OCD works and how to crush it – the better! That is why I have made YouTube videos directly for kids with OCD and anxiety. In this week’s episode I am teaching kids how to deal with OCD thoughts.
Your child is starting to talk about “bad thoughts.” They worry they might hurt someone. They worry they might hurt themselves. This behavior is out of the blue. They promise they don’t want to kill themselves, but they worry it will happen anyway. They don’t want to jump in front of a car, but what if they do? They don’t want to stab you, but what if they do? The questions don’t stop there. What if something they do winds up killing those they love? What if they don’t wash well enough, pick up good enough, do things carefully enough. Would that put others at risk? Welcome to the world of Harm OCD. The one OCD theme that has parents running to professionals more than any other OCD theme.
Anxiety is not always visible. It is not always obvious. Sometimes it is silently attacking your child from the inside out. It makes itself cozy in a child’s mind that is already filled with doubt and insecurity. Intrusive thoughts are confusing to kids. They are scary to kids. Heck, they are scary for parents. So how do you help your child deal with them? It is the opposite of what you may think…