Working on OCD is like pulling weeds. Our kids are slowly taking their garden back by eliminating one OCD compulsion at a time (or several at a time!). The less they do compulsions, the weaker OCD becomes. But what if they let some new compulsions grow some early roots? What if they focus so hard on the weeds in front of them, they miss the new weeds starting to form in the distance? What if they want people to see a clean garden, so they hide the new weeds to everyone but themselves? In this week’s Youtube video I talk to kids and teens about the importance of pulling out those small OCD weeds and preventing any new OCD compulsions from ever taking root.
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.
PSP 195: How to Help Your Child Maintain Progress with Anxiety or OCD So your child has just crushed their anxiety or OCD. You are feeling on top of the world and so are they. Now what? This is often when the ball is dropped. It is often when the seeds of the next infestation of weeds are left to grow, unchecked and unmanaged. But […]
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 […]
OCD is a complete bully. It tells your kids what to do and how to do it. It makes them worry about things they know will never happen. It hijacks their fears and presents them as real. It is truly a cruel disorder. But there is hope. Kids can learn to fight OCD by bullying it back.
You’ve read all the books. You’ve joined all the Facebook groups. You’ve started therapy. Now if your child would just get on board with the whole process – they can really make progress with their issues. But they won’t. They refuse to talk about it. They refuse to fight it. They refuse any and all help. How are you supposed to help kids with OCD or anxiety if they don’t want to help themselves?
Having OCD is hard enough, but being a kid or teenager with OCD is even harder. Many children with OCD think they are the only ones suffering with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. They don’t realize that OCD in kids is much more common than they think! They struggle alone and many wonder how on earth they are supposed to beat OCD.
Her small frame sits, hunched over on my therapy couch. She looks at the ceiling. She looks at the floor. She looks everywhere and anywhere as long as it is not my eyes. Finally, she opens her mouth to speak. “I have bad thoughts.” She whispers. “Sometimes to get rid of them I have to do things in threes.” She sits, waiting for the condemnation. Waiting for the concern and judgment to ooze from my face. I sit nodding and she continues. She tells me things I have heard a zillion times before. Things that come from living in the shadows of child OCD.