Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is a diagnosis I have “known” but haven’t always understood. In the past few years I have had friends, clients and families that have given me the opportunity to better understand OCD, and its affect on children, teens and their families. One of the challenges I have faced is learning to “see”, and helping families identify, and understand the unseen thoughts and struggles individual with OCD face. Much of the struggle and stress is internal, and often, children and adolescents have difficulty understanding, much less verbalizing their needs, worries and thoughts.
I really appreciate the multifaceted approach to OCD treatment that is now available. Individuals and families need to understand and support the whole person. I have also learned to celebrate each victory. If you or your child has OCD, celebrate the times when you or your child has been mindful to decrease a compulsive behaviour, or when they choose to use a strategy that help decrease the stress of the moment. These are big steps. It is a long journey, you should celebrate each step. They are as important as the destination.
Here is a good site with a nice description of OCD.
See the thought bubbles? They provide some insight into the importance of working on mindfulness, relaxation and self-regulation as strategies. The behaviours are one piece of the puzzle. However, providing individuals with strategies to help them cope with stress, enables them to be more successful in decreasing targeted behaviours.