OCD is like a difficult chess game and one of OCD’s best moves is Meta OCD. When our kids struggle with Meta OCD their intrusive thoughts are about OCD itself. There are many ways OCD can make them dizzy with thoughts about OCD.
OCD is an octopus with sticky tentacles. Those tentacles can glom onto almost anything. They can watch, hear, or observe anything that can, in return, become a new OCD theme. The issue isn’t what they hear or watch, the issue is how big and sticky the tentacles are. The goal is to build skills and knowledge to shrink the octopus and part of that is learning all about OCD.
It is helpful to understand the many different disguises OCD can wear. When we understand how OCD can show up, we can nip it in the bud more often. Relationship OCD is often talked about in an adult context, but it impacts kids and teens as well. I invited Kristina Orlova, an anxiety and OCD therapist and creator of OCD Academy, to come onto the AT Parenting Survival Podcast to help us understand ROCD better.
OCD comes in many disguises. OCD is OCD and it is treated as such, but it can be easy to miss new intrusive thoughts and compulsions. That is because OCD can morph and present in a completely different way. The best way to approach OCD is to educate ourselves and our kids in the many ways it can show up. It can help to learn about other OCD experiences and common OCD intrusive thoughts and compulsions. When you do this, you and your child will be able to catch new OCD struggles before it can grow big roots. Then you’ll approach it the same way you do with any other OCD theme using ERP, Exposure Response Prevention.
OCD loves to dictate everything, including what words and topics your child and other people around them can use. It’s an OCD trap. The more they avoid these words and topics, the smaller their world becomes. OCD will eventually have them avoid words and topics similar to those they are already avoiding. Before they know it, they’ll have a long list of things OCD says they have to avoid. A list that is impossible to avoid without impacting everyone’s life. In this week’s YouTube video for kids and teens I discuss how OCD will want them to avoid certain words and topics and how to get their power back from OCD.
OCD can make our kids worry about all sorts of things. OCD comes in many disguises and themes. Harm OCD themes are often missed or misunderstood. In this week’s Youtube video I talk to kids and teens about what harm OCD themes look like and what they can do to get some OCD relief around this type of theme.
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.
There is one thing we know for sure, OCD likes to play whac-a-mole. OCD will shift and change over time. It wears many disguises and often goes undetected. Would your child or teen know how to spot new OCD themes when they are just starting to form? It is helpful for us as parents to understand what to look for, but even more important for our kids to know themselves!
Here’s the Way to Handle OCD Regardless of Theme I often get very specific questions. Natasha, how do I handle this type of OCD? or What exposures should I do for this OCD theme? Honestly, the answer is always the same. Themes and subtypes can help us categorize our child’s OCD and it can even help us spot patterns in compulsions, but it shouldn’t slow […]
Can my Child Catch Other Anxiety or OCD Themes? Parents will often ask me, “Can my child catch other anxiety or OCD themes?” What if they read a book on OCD or anxiety and it makes it worse? What if they watch a documentary or participate in a support group with tons of other themes discussed? Won’t their anxiety or OCD just get more ideas? […]
How Understanding Anxiety & OCD Themes Can Help Your Child Anxiety and OCD come in many flavors. Often we even name these flavors with various titles like symmetry OCD, Harm OCD, Separation Anxiety, Emetophobia etc. Does it really matter what theme of anxiety or OCD my child has? Yes and no. There are pitfalls to wearing blinders and only focusing on your child’s anxiety or […]
When OCD isn’t a Fear, But Rather a Feeling of Disgust Unfortunately many people believe, including some mental health professionals, that in order to have OCD you must have a core fear. Sadly, many people get misdiagnosed because people are searching up, down and all around for a fear. But OCD doesn’t have to be an intrusive thought, it can also be an intrusive feeling. […]
What is HOCD and Why is it Never Talked About? “Can I private message you.” Is normally how it starts. “My child has an issue that I am nervous to discuss in front of others.” More often than not, they want to talk about HOCD, also known as Homosexual OCD. I prefer the newer term, Sexual Orientation OCD, as it is more encompassing and much […]