Are you a worrier? Is your child fearful? If I peek in your purse or closets will I see a place for everything and everything in its place? Does your child want cars and dolls neatly lined up all in a row, have a hissy fit when gets a bit dirty? Is written home work a battle because erasures are not allowed in your child’s mind? Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, one of the serious disorders that can impede learning and lif, e may be at work. One can be obsessive without being compulsive, but usually the two go together.
Briefly defined, obsessions are stubbornly ongoing thoughts, impulses, or images that cause marked anxiety or distress. They are not normal worries about real life dangers. In time, an obsessed person comes to realize the obsessions are irrational, but cannot erase them. They can sometimes be erased or neutralized by ritualized actions.Children tend to think such thoughts and deeds are normal.
Compulsions are repetitive behaviors (e.g., hand washing, ordering, checking) or mental acts (e.g., praying, counting, repeating words silently) that the person feels driven to perform in response to an obsession. The behaviors are thoughts are not logically connected to the worry or are clearly excessive.
Here is a brief description by a mother of her son’s struggle with OCD”
I’ve written before about the severity of my son Dan’s obsessive-compulsive disorder. How it was so bad he couldn’t eat. How he’d get stuck sitting in one particular chair, hunched over with his head in his hands, for hours at a time. How he was tied to the clock for all activities of daily living.
Dan eventually got proper treatment and is now a senior at college and his OCD is under control.
Dan’s mother started blogging to educate others about OCD. Her blog can be found at OCDtalk. Even if you are not worried about OCD and your child, edcuating yourself and others about all major mental disorders is a step toward reducing stigma.
PARENT ADVICE ABOUT OCD
Tip one: As with most mental or brain based disorders the younger the child, the harder to diagnose. Don’t worry much about obsessions or compulsions you see in pre-school children. Worry more if they persist into the early school years.
As OCD is a fear based disorder, shy and anxious children are more at risk.
Also worry a bit more if OCD has been diagnosed in other relatives. It is a disorder that can be passed on genetically. Also worry a bit if you see some symptoms in other family members, even if the disorder is not diagnosed.
When visiting us, my mother-in-law had to make sure all the pictures in the house were perfectly alligned. She often re-arranged my knick-knacks to better suit her idea of perfection. A niece couldn’t stand seeing dust in someone’s house; she was known to offer to dust or if that seemed rude, could be seen dusting sneakily. Another relative drove a contractor over a barely squeaky floor board. None were diagnosed, but everyone who knew them joked about their OCD-like behavior.
Tip two: It you are worried, educate yourself, and if after doing that you are still worried, seek professional help.
Tip three: As always staying emotionally fit. Accept that good enough is good enough. Make time for you. Practice my Daily Emotional Fitness Program for Parents as found in my book Parents Are People Too.
Parenting is difficult and often a struggle as you must know by now. You should also know this you are almost certainly a good enough parent. If you’re having a hard time, my advice is not to ignore that, but also to make sure you take care of yourself. When you stay in charge of your negative feelings, your child/ren will benefit too. I encourage you to develop Emotional Fitness Training™ skills and share your success with others.
Here is a way to practice some kindness, a major Emotional Fitness Skill. October 8 – 14, 2012, has been designated OCD Awareness Week. Visit the link to learn how you can support the efforts of the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Foundation’s attempt to bring attention to, and to reduce the stigma of, OCD.
You can also practice kindness by liking, commenting, or sharing my posts. I promise kindness is always rewarded in one way or another.
As always, thank you for your support, it means a great deal to me.
DISCLAIMER: FORGIVE MY GRAMMATICAL ERRORS FOR I HAVE DYSGRAPHIA.
If you need perfect posts, you will not find them here. I have dysgraphia which means that sometimes my sentence structure is not that easy to follow or I make other errors. Still, most people understand me. All of my books are professionally edited, but not all of my blog posts are. Thanks for your understanding and reading my work.
FURTHER PARENT ADVICE CAN BE FOUND IN MY BOOKS
All my books are available on Amazon, and readable on any tablet, laptop, Mac, PC, e-reader or Kindle device.
Coming soon from MetaPlume: How to Hold a Successful Family Meeting