I know we can be medication phobic these days. no one wants to "label" their child or treat them too quickly for diseases they may or may not have but are we seriously THAT scared of seeking therapy that we'd medicate without actually trying to fix the OCD problem??
"WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?" you ask me. I just read a parent OCD kids group on facebook posting or five where people are giving advice about how to cope with OCD and discussing a child's troubles by saying that ther anxiety brought about from therapy was worse than the OCD but medication seemed to be working so they were NOT seeking therapy for their children. HELLO, BULLY, COME ON OVER TO PLAY AT OUR HOUSE!!!! that's what that says to me!!!
OF COURSE behaviors are worse to start, you're disturbing a bully's free reign over your child's brain..and bullies don't like to be told NO so of COURSE anxieties are worse for a while. As my daughter's therapist says to me when I feel overwhelmed by Nora's symptoms. The help for one anxiety generalizes the help for them all...it lowers her overall anxiety by fighting the battle. If we medicate - and one day we may - it will be at low enough dose where she still has to learn strategies and fight the disease. Reducing anxiety is IMPORTANT, having a life you can THRIVE in is CRITICAL. Medicating away a problem that needs to be taught its boundaries doesn't actually help fix the problem...the medication only helps ease symptoms but it doesn't fight the problem or teach strategies to relearn what isn't actually worry-worthy.
Oh parents, this one isn't easy. I'm so sorry. I wish it were. How I wish OCD wasn't a lifelong disease, but it is. Fill your child's armory with all the weapons he or she needs to squash this bully while enhancing his/her well being not just while the medication works. Arm yourself with the PROPER do's and don'ts of fighting this bully. Don't make them up...chances are what you think is helping (ex. making an issue seem like "no big deal") is feeding OCD's greedy nature. My best help for OCD is frequently the opposite of how I would cope myself.
Nora: "mom, i talked to my teacher today and i thought i was talking too loud but i don't really think i was, is that okay?"
Me before: "oh honey, you probably weren't loud or she would have said something, its okay, no big deal."
OCD: "ooh, you were too loud you should worry about how loud you're being...haha, you better keep asking! see, don't you feel better your mom said it was okay"
ME NOW: "definitely sounds too loud."
NORA's THINKING: "no, i wasn't too loud, that was OCD"
I can repeat examples like that over and over again let alone exposure therapies that have made her force herself back into habits that were second nature before (and we still have super far to go!)...I guess my stress is that we're responsible for teaching our kids how to be great adults and teaching them to ignore professional help because we're not comfortable with the immediate results and don't like "therapy" is SELFISH and a disservice...and I'm quite sure adults with the disease would agree! And who needs the guilt from feeding their kiddos OCD bully because they're doing the wrong thing since no one was there to tell them differently.
BE BRAVE, IT IS OKAY TO ASK FOR HELP AND THE SHORT TERM BATTLE IS WORTH WINNING THE LONG TERM WAR!