OCD comes in many flavors. One flavor involves the ongoing fear of being a bad person. Ironically the most kind hearted people often struggle with this type of OCD theme. When our kids have these types of intrusive thoughts they might find themselves consumed with worry about behaviors they did in the past. OCD has access to their mental database and can present them with a long list of “bad” things they’ve done. We are all human and have done things we regret. In this week’s Youtube video I talk to kids and teens about how OCD uses their experiences against them and how they can stay one step ahead and stop OCD in its tracks.
When kids have Moral OCD, intrusive thoughts they are a bad person, it can be hard to discipline and set boundaries. It can also hit their self-esteem on a level that makes it hard to manage. In this week’s AT Parenting Survival Podcast I talk to parents about how to navigate the minefield of discipline, redirection, self-esteem and boundary setting in kids with Moral or Scrupulosity OCD.
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 a Child Feel Like they are Lying Many kids with Moral OCD worry that they might be lying. This type of intrusive thought often gets missed because the compulsions around the thought are so subtle. I want pizza… I think. I had a good day… I guess. The very act of talking, making decisions and answering questions becomes a […]
Parenting a child with OCD can be overwhelming and lonely. The first Tuesday of every month, I am highlighting a member of the AT Parenting Community. We can learn from the real stories of others living a life, similar to ours. In these stories we can see our own.
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.
Have you ever wondered what your child with OCD is going through? What their life is like growing up with OCD?
I had the pleasure of talking to John Tessitore, the founder of the JCK Foundation. He was willing to get raw with me and share some personal details of what life was like growing up with thoughts he hid from the outside world.
Hearing your child confess thoughts that do not make sense can be heartbreaking. Moral OCD is one of the most confusing OCD themes a parent, and for that matter, a child, can experience. Kids with Moral OCD are bombarded with thoughts.
Harm OCD in Children: How to Help Them Harm OCD in children can be easily missed. Harm OCD makes kids worry they might do something to hurt or harm someone else or themselves. I often see kids with Moral OCD (scrupulosity OCD) have Harm OCD as well. Most kids with OCD have at least a few different OCD themes. You can learn more about Harm […]
Your child is bombarded with “bad thoughts.” They are asking you bizarre questions that are stopping you dead in your tracks. What if I hurt myself? What if I hurt you? What if I set the house on fire? What if I jump in front of a train? What if I left a scratch on your car? They riddle every conversation with apologies and more questions. They are consumed with worry. They don’t want to have these thoughts. They don’t want to hurt themselves or other people. But they can’t make these thoughts stop. These thoughts scare you. These thoughts scare them. Welcome to the world of Harm OCD. Harm OCD is often misunderstood and misdiagnosed.
Doubt is a big part of OCD. It makes you doubt you are clean. It makes you doubt you are safe. But imagine if the doubt OCD brings makes you doubt who you are and what you are capable of doing? Welcome to the world of Scrupulosity OCD,sometimes referred to as Moral OCD, Religious OCD or even Bad Thought OCD. What if I become a killer? What if I am a bad kid? What if I hurt someone? What if I hurt myself? What if I drink, smoke, do drugs, get tattoos?! What if I turn into the worst version of myself? Will I go to Hell? Will you leave me? Never speak to me again? Scrupulosity OCD is one of the hardest OCD themes to cope with because it feels so real. Because it attacks the very essence of who the person is and who they want to become. The worst part about it – most parents and children don’t even know they have OCD.
“Mom I need to talk to you,” you hear your son whisper again. “I’m having bad thoughts.” You know where this is headed. This is the tenth time today he’s pulled you aside to talk. “Two years ago, I think I did something bad,” he confesses. His voice trails off as your mind starts to wonder. What is going on? Why does my son have to confess every thought, behavior and memory he thinks is bad? Why don’t my reassurances make him feel better? You remember once reading something about scrupulosity OCD, could that be what is going on?