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Teenagers with OCD

BeanPeach

BeanPeach

New member
Joined
Feb 18, 2021
Messages
4
Location
Massachusetts
Please provide any encouragement or thoughts on helping a parent (me!) deal with a teenager with ocd. It’s awful to witness my daughter struggle. My heart breaks for her. She is 13 and suffers from anxiety and ocd and I don’t even know how to parent her when she’s having an episode? Do I stay quiet, do I get firm, do I empathize and talk her down, leave her alone? It’s so hard. She often gets angry and yells at me and tells me she hates me. Sigh.
 
hicks

hicks

Well-known member
Joined
May 14, 2019
Messages
2,524
Location
A galaxy, far far away..
I was in exactly the same position as you in 2019, going through the same emotions. Daughter had a massive escalation in anxiety and OCD. It had a huge impact on the whole family, we thought our world was ending. . So scary because we saw such a change in her, like it was a different person. We really did not understand what was going on until I did some research around it, and we had sessions with a counsellor.
There is actually very little you can do during a meltdown/episode because the pre-frontal cortex part of the brain has largely shut down. Meaning that normal reasoning is impossible. Anxiety and the primitive brain is in control. The Amygdala has a powerful influence in young people. This is where the anxiety comes from.
As a parent you just do not have the experience to deal with this.
What worked for us was sessions with a qualified counsellor. Your daughter needs to learn techniques in dealing with the anxiety, and managing it, before it can escalate.
I wish you all the best, and I hope things work out. On the positive side, our daughter has got a lot better with managing anxiety, so there is hope.
 
L

L1F3SUCK5

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 20, 2020
Messages
52
Location
England
Please provide any encouragement or thoughts on helping a parent (me!) deal with a teenager with ocd. It’s awful to witness my daughter struggle. My heart breaks for her. She is 13 and suffers from anxiety and ocd and I don’t even know how to parent her when she’s having an episode? Do I stay quiet, do I get firm, do I empathize and talk her down, leave her alone? It’s so hard. She often gets angry and yells at me and tells me she hates me. Sigh.
Hi, I was in exactly the same boat as her when I was 13, it’s horrible.
I’m now 19 and it did get better. When I was 14 it got really bad, I was under Camhs but they weren’t helpful, what actually helped me was my mum.

I had to reduce my checks gradually and having my mum there to support me and tell me everything was okay really helped. What I would say is to try reducing the checks/routines (I don’t know what kind of OCD she has) starting with the easiest to reduce. Be with her and there for her as it will be hard but just reassuring her that nothing bad will happen and when she stops checking/doing as much of the routine once then it gets easier to do that same thing again. Once she feels comfortable with not having to do that check/routine then you could tackle another, as time goes on it’ll become easier, still hard but easier.

The most important thing is to be there for her, leaving her alone probably won’t help. For me, if I were left to continue doing things my OCD was encouraging then my OCD would only get worse. I need support from my family to help me know that what my OCD is telling me isn’t true and that everything will be okay if I don’t do what it’s telling me to do. I still struggle to this day but honestly having my mum there with me makes a difference.

OCD can be extremely isolating and scary, so my advice is to be there for her and with her.
I understand how hard it must be for both of you. I saw how it effected my mum, she was exactly the same as you, it’s not easy to know what to do and I hope this helps x
 
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