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#1 of 7 Old 01-02-2011, 12:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi.  I'm mom to a 5.5 year old who we feel has developed OCD and it is getting worse.  I have been reading a tremendous amount on it and have ordered every book possible to help us deal with this.  I have read "Raising Your Spirited Child" of which she fits most of the extremes and I have also read the "What to Expect from your 6 year old" and she also fits many of those things.  As much as I have read and think that some of her behaviors are within the range of normal, there are other behaviors that definitely are not.  For example, she has to step in certain places when walking through a room.  She also counts various things and will get very frustrated and have a meltdown.  Tantrums (the 2 year old kind) have increased drastically in the past three weeks.  We can not get her dressed in the mornings and can never seem to get her out the door to go anywhere no matter what we do.  She does not have the some of the other 'typical' things like washing hands and cleanliness (in fact, it's often much the opposite). 

 

Stress is what they say exacerbates such behavior and we have had a tremendous amount of that.  We just moved half way across the country, away from all of our friends and family.  A month after we moved we found out I was pregnant again.  And she started kindergarten.  The behavior skyrocketed after a visit from dh's family in which they spent the entire time asking her when she was going to come visit and if she was coming soon, etc.  Not the anxiety she needed, so for now, she isn't even allowed to speak with them because they don't respect us when we ask them not to say those things to her.

 

All this said, I'm very cautious to take her to a psychologist for an 'official' diagnosis.  I'm not a fan of labels and I don't want her to feel labeled because I think often times when you are labeled as something, you live up to that label.  I'm hoping that some of the books I ordered will really help us to cope with her behavior.  I have read a few websites and have already started implementing some of the tactics, that, for this moment, seem to be somewhat working.

 

I'm just wondering if there is anyone else out there that as BTDT or can offer any advice.  I feel so extremely alone and my anxiety is over the top trying to deal with the every day with her.  Dh's way of coping is to ignore it.  Not helpful.  If you can offer any insight, I would be so grateful!  Thanks!


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#2 of 7 Old 01-02-2011, 08:07 PM
 
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Originally Posted by amaayeh View Post

All this said, I'm very cautious to take her to a psychologist for an 'official' diagnosis.  I'm not a fan of labels and I don't want her to feel labeled because I think often times when you are labeled as something, you live up to that label.  I'm hoping that some of the books I ordered will really help us to cope with her behavior.  I have read a few websites and have already started implementing some of the tactics, that, for this moment, seem to be somewhat working.

 

 

You feel alone and anxious, your dh is ignoring the problem; it really appears that it is time to seek outside help. I wouldn't avoid doing so because you fear labels--your dd has real, right now issues that exist whether they are labeled or not.

 

This post

 

http://www.mothering.com/community/forum/thread/1280834/should-i-seek-a-diagnosis#post_16072464
 

from this thread

 

Should I seek a diagnosis?

 

does a good job of explaining the good in labels. It seems to me that actively avoiding labels often results in the child and parents struggling more than is necessary.


"It should be a rule in all prophylactic work that no harm should ever be unnecessarily inflicted on a healthy person (Sir Graham Wilson, The Hazards of Immunization, 1967)."
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#3 of 7 Old 01-02-2011, 08:46 PM
 
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Someone with OCD feels much worse on the inside then they show outwardly.  I have OCD and can't imagine being a child and trying to cope with the level of anxiety that takes over your life.  If seeing someone can help her, she and you guys can learn how to better cope.

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#4 of 7 Old 01-02-2011, 10:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have read and read today and found a lot of helpful information out there.  At this point, I'm about 99% sure it's OCD, but before we seek outside help, I want to have a better overall hold on information out there. I've ordered numerous books and will devour them this week.  In the meantime, I found a great website specific to anxiety disorders in children and it gave me some incredible tips on dealing with it.  One was to give these behaviors a name and separate them from her.  I did this and it was like a switch went off.  She started talking to us, giving them her own names and then we could start addressing them without her feeling threatened that we were attacking her.  I made it very clear that we are nothing but on her side and I could tell she really felt it's an 'us against them' scenario.  We are already seeming to be on a better path.  Hopefully I will find out what I can on my own and I've already found a psychologist in my area that specializes in this exact problem. 


Andrea fly-by-nursing2.gif - Mommy to DD1 ('05), DD2 ('08), DD3 (6/17/11) cd.gif homebirth.jpg

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#5 of 7 Old 01-05-2011, 08:43 PM
 
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Andrea,
I think the best thing you can do is find a therapist who specializes in cognitive behavioral therapy for OCD in pediatrics. The OCD foundation website will have physician lists for your area. You want someone who specializes in OCD because the therapy for this is very specific and different from other conditions and even other anxiety conditions.

There is a yahoo group for parents with spectrum kids. Tamar Chansky has a book called, if I recall, Freeing your Child from OCD. There are some other good books too and if you find that one on amazon you'll find other suggestions. All are "leaving" me at the moment for some reason and I may have mispelled the author's name to boot!

Inositol can be effective with OCD and would be safe for kids (it's a supplement...you can google...I'd give it to my child if they appeared to need meds for this before I did actual medication for sure). N-Acytl Cysteine also helps me.

Therapy. You want therapy but the right kind (exposure/response via cognitive behavioral from someone who knows OCD). The thing is that if she can learn how to manage this behaviorally from a young age she'll be much better off in the long run in managing it.

Finally, if this was a sudden appearing and severe onset OCD look into PANDAS and PITANDS. Otherwise, all the above is my recommendation.


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#6 of 7 Old 01-10-2011, 05:52 PM
 
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Tamar Chansky's books about OCD and her book on anxiety are both excellent. I would definitely get in to see a psychologist. If you get an accurate diagnosis, it will help your child. I have OCD which started in childhood (along with depression and panic disorder). I did not get diagnosed until I was about 20. I wish I had had help before then.

 

Cognitative Behavior Therapy is very effective for OCD as well as some natural treatment (such as Inositol, some amino acid therapies). If the OCD has a sudden onset, they may suspect PANDAS which is related to strep infections and can be treated with antibiotics. I think it's wise to read up on everything, but also to get an evaluation.

 

I am glad your daughter is responding better now to your help. Not being able to help our kids is the worst feeling ever. My own DD has anxiety with some OCD tendencies and it can be so hard to deal with and watch what it does to her. Stress definitely brings it out. I know my own OCD shows up when I am stressed.

 

If you want a good kid's book about OCD, I would recommend "What to Do When Your Brain Gets Stuck." It has funny pictures and many kid-friendly CBT exercises in it. You could use it along with a therapist. We also have "What to Do When You Worry Too Much."  My DD likes both of these books and she is 7 y.o.

 

I hope you get some answers soon and things start to get easier for you.


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#7 of 7 Old 02-02-2011, 02:04 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amaayeh View Post

I found a great website specific to anxiety disorders in children and it gave me some incredible tips on dealing with it.  One was to give these behaviors a name and separate them from her. 


Hi Amanda

How are things going for your daughter now?

I'm reviving this thread, which I found doing a search for OCD, because I'm beginning to worry that my 5.5 yr old son has it. I'm going to start a new thread about his issues, but meanwhile, could you give me the link to the website you are talking about here?

Thanks!


Retired Ohio midwife. Mama to my boy E, born 7/05
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