9yo OCD thoughts - saying sorry to everything - clothes, paper, etc - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 01-14-2012, 07:44 AM - Thread Starter
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My almost 9yo dd told me last night that she thinks she's stupid or crazy because she apologizes to everything in her mind, all the time.  Last night she was having trouble getting a shirt on a hanger and she threw the shirt on ground, then said sorry to the shirt (in her mind).  She got mad and then stomped her foot on the ground - and said sorry to the slipper and thought she hurt it and it needed an icepack - the slipper that is...she is a very smart little girl who understands that objects do not have feelings, but she says that she can't stop saying sorry to things.


I will be back soon but wanted to throw that out there to get some feedback, I told her we would figure this out together and get a plan today.  She asked me about it first thing this morning so I know it's on her mind.


She is very bright A+ student, just finished cognitive testing for ADHD (which will be diagnosed).  My 2yo is throwing up, gotta go!

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DD (1/03) , DS (9/05) , DD (10/09)
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#2 of 4 Old 01-14-2012, 05:34 PM
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The author Tamar Chansky has a book called "Freeing Your Child from OCD". I haven't read that one, but her book on Freeing your Child from Anxiety is good, and expect this would be too.


Since you've already got a relationship with a psychologist about the ADHD, I would call them up and describe the symptoms you've described for us here. I suspect that it's not uncommon for OCD to co-occur with ADHD. I believe the treatment, especially for this age, is usually cognitive behavioral therapy. At 9, your daughter is old enough for that, and some counseling might really help her deal with it, and perhaps the ADHD as well. It never hurts to understand yourself a bit more. The key is finding the right fit for a therapist .

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#3 of 4 Old 01-14-2012, 06:03 PM
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You should definitely bring this issue up with your dd's psychologist, as it's likely that her intrusive thoughts are causing her attention issues, and the treatment for the two is quite different.  With kids who have ADHD, cognitive behavioral therapy often focuses on organizational strategies and ways to improve concentration.  Therapists often teach kids with ADHD how to use patterns and rituals to address their symptoms.  With kids who have OCD, CBT will focus on breaking patterns and rituals.  


When I worked with mentally ill children in the late 90s, I was told that untreated OCD can wear a neuro-chemical pathway in the brain that increases its severity, and that it's easier to treat if a child is started on medication close to the onset of symptoms, rather than waiting.  I don't know if that's still true - the state of medical knowledge changes quickly, and I haven't kept up.  But you might find that your doc jumps to a pharmaceutical option pretty quickly.   



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#4 of 4 Old 01-14-2012, 08:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you both for your thoughtful answers and the book recommendation.  I will look into the book at our library and definitely bring this up with our psych next week.


Stik that's really interesting and good to know about the therapies for ADHD and OCD so different.  I had no idea but will keep it in mind when I talk to her doctor.


I appreciate your time! :)

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DD (1/03) , DS (9/05) , DD (10/09)
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