Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Nothing Doing

Silent symptoms scream loudly don't they?!!!! It is easier to notice things aren't quite right when kids are throwing fits and fighting. When they're quietly struggling they don't get attention as quickly because it is harder to notice. OCD can be like that sometimes...it masks as a mumble, an erase, a delay but it shows itself as a re-read passage that took hours to complete, an anxiety that stops fun activities paralyzing the next move without the compulsion to move on - we can stop compulsions sometimes but not the obsessions, a rephrased answer to a question without any firm commitments to opinions or preferences, a small shrug away from sometime normal - ex. picking up a nail on the floor was a big deal because we don't like touching sharp objects and were very anxious about it! okay, you and I don't want to get stabbed by a nail but the simple transportation of that nail from floor-to hand-to drawer even if it poked us accidentally on the way wouldn't phase us...silent, sneaky OCD builds unnecessary worry about touching that nail and a strong dislike for "sharp" objects - forget about the knife to cut dinner, the scissors to play or the paper cutter - include the razor in the bathroom a pointy nail - now there's danger - but not really right?!

Maintaining a right-idea about what OCD is and isn't is so important in properly addressing its bully behaviors. My Nora NEVER cleans dishes repeatedly, doesn't spend time locking and unlocking doors before she leaves the house but she did line up her stuffies on her bed (but that was to avoid the reading and essay work she DOES use OCD avoidance behaviors about) And at least at our house, these obsessions have themes but neither they or the compulsions follow a set pattern - unless avoidance is in the mix.

We recently started scaling up a medicine regimin and her reactions have been varied but improving - almost like we're peeling back the layers on the symptoms and will leave the core of her illness underneath, but we shall see!

This week's homework, showering for 20 minutes EVERY DAY - but here's the trickiest part, RECORDING it!!

Sometimes I think there isn't much to say, but maybe that is just as much part of her story! And other days there is SO much to say but for her sake I am trying to leave out the outbursts!

More soon!

Here's an article about common OCD myths...it helps clear up some of our common ideas about OCD - you know, from movies and our cultural notions!


  1. I feel for your daughter! Battling OCD when you are a kid is tough. It can make some of the simplest things far more complicated than they need to be!

    With the fear of sharp objects - is your daughter afraid of hurting herself or potentially hurting others?

    And as far as showers go, I actually have the exact same assignment. 20 minute shower, every day. I have definitely made progress in this area, and I'd love to here about how your daughter is doing with it. I know firsthand how such a simple thing can sometimes be so hard!

  2. So well put! the simplest things are more complicated than they should be! They're probably what are toughest!!! - and hard to watch her struggle!

    As for the shower, she's mostly making progress there - at times we can't get her to get in, can't get her to get out - which should make her squeaky clean but she just stands there i think. we CAN'T get her to "record" things even when she does it so it is hard to track progress...she has a hard time with being exactly truthful or presenting facts correctly so she avoids putting things on paper.

    maybe that's my next topic are the areas or categories we see OCD show up...even when don't see lots of what i think of as compulsions..

  3. I'd be anxious with a shower every day assignment. I currently hold tightly to my every-other-day habit. It just seems too stressful to shower every day. Besides, my skin might dry up and it might waste water (excuses, but they might hold a little water).

    I'm scared of telling lies on paper. Not sure if that's what you meant with your daughter or not. I more or less "failed" an application by inserting enough maybes to cover most possible inaccuracies. I do, however, like to record my ocd triumphs. It's like checking off things on a list. I want the credit for eating the tuna or cleaning the bathroom! I'm all for bribery, especially with myself. If I work 5 days this week, then I can open my new puzzle. I put it together this morning. Good luck to you and your daughter!