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My gorgeous dd has really really bad OCD.

(234 Posts)
gracepaley Sat 12-Apr-08 23:30:22

We are on the waiting list for therapy and reading up about it like loons, but we are feeling really bleak about it. It's such a fucking pointless, ridiculous evolutionary blip, and it's turning her into a ghost of herself. Anyone got any cheery stories about recovery to bolster me? Normally more resolute, but just tonight feeling crap about it.

AitchTwoOh Sat 12-Apr-08 23:31:25

och no, sorry. but i've a <squeeze> for you if that will help at all. sounds awful, i hope there's something to help her soon.

MaryAnnSingleton Sat 12-Apr-08 23:31:43

how old is she ? am just off to bed, but will check in tomorrow- have had OCD for years but there is a way through it - not all gloomy - don't despair !

controlfreakyagain Sat 12-Apr-08 23:32:20

yes. god friends ds1 had a real problem a year / 18 months ago.... has responded to seeing therapist really well and is doing brilliantly. professional help is both necessary and really effective. how old is she?

berolina Sat 12-Apr-08 23:34:03

I am more or less completely recovered from moderate-with-severe-patches OCD during my teens. Without therapy.

I am so sorry, for your dd and you. It's an absolute bugger of a condition, but has helped make me really quite tough in many ways. I really don't want to write much on here right now, but you can CAT me if you like.

MaryAnnSingleton Sat 12-Apr-08 23:34:24

before I go...yes, it's a bloody horrible and pointless thing to have and makes life very,very difficult but it can be treated ...

gracepaley Sat 12-Apr-08 23:34:50

She is 9. She has severe nut allergy which - as she has got older - she has become more aware/more scared about. All her rituals are death protection rituals, and they are now taking up about 1/3 of her time. I just sat with her and we wrote them all down to give to the therapist. It completely did my head in, how intricate, designed and utterly fucking pointless they were. sad

Jenkeywoo Sat 12-Apr-08 23:35:17

No experience of ocd in children myself but I do know what it's like to have a new diagnosis for a child and to be stuck in that horrible place of brain over-load from all the info you find on-line. How old is your dd? It must be really hard for you all. I do hope she gets the therapy soon and things get easier for you all.

Have you looked at hypnosis at all? When I was pregnant I had ante-natal depression and some OCD symptoms. I had some hynotherapy and it really helped, I know my hypnotherapist was able to treat children from school age.

Jenkeywoo Sat 12-Apr-08 23:36:41

oh, your poor dd, it must be hellish being trapped there. I'm glad you're able to sit down and go through it all with her but I can only imagine how painful it must be for you.

gracepaley Sat 12-Apr-08 23:37:41

Oh good. Berolina and MAS I "know" you slightly on here and you both come over as most excellent, well adjusted people. I just keep being scared she is not going to have a life at all. B I may well CAT you. Am now off to have bath as am taking her and her sister on holiday tomorrow pm. Will check in tomorrow morning.

Thank you.

controlfreakyagain Sat 12-Apr-08 23:39:11

she can talk through her fears with objective but empathetic outsider..... who will not have your (understandable) fears and anxieties about all this. friend's dd was given lots of space to talk about her feelings and helpful practical strategies to help with her routines / rituals etc. which were real strain on her and her family.... she is 13 now, 10 ish when problems started. thought (in her case0 to be linked to fears of growing up / long simmering issues re separation anxiety..... good luck.

peneloperabbit Sat 12-Apr-08 23:59:57

I had OCD from the age of about 8/9 to about 10/11. Can't remember exactly. Lots and lots of rituals and mantras etc. It took up a lot of space in my mind and time in my day when I should have been playing. The obsessive thoughts were also very distressing. I believed I needed to complete these rituals and mantras to protect my mother from harm - possibly linked to the fear of being left with my father (he was going through some difficult things himself.) I didn't see anyone about it and didn't tell anyone as I believed talking about it would put her at extra risk and negate all the good the rituals did iyswim.
With me, I strangely just sort of stopped doing it and have no idea how. I have spoken to many (very happy and successful) people who experienced similar things when they were growing up- one friend saw a psychologist, the rest, like me, said they just sort of stopped and can't remember how. I work in mental health now and seem to remember reading something about it being common in children. I don't work with children myself but know that OCD can be treated successfully with CBT.
I don't know if that is helpful! What I wanted to say was, it is horrible, but it is treatable AND having this sort of thing when you are young doesn't spell disaster for the future.

MaryAnnSingleton Sun 13-Apr-08 08:44:59

good morning ! just wanted to catch you before you go away... first of all am so sorry that your dd is going through this - it is an awful condition I do know that. I echo what peneloperabbit says about CBT - it was the only thing that really worked with me and I would think that it would be ideal for a child.
I think I probably had the beginnings of OCD at around that age, possibly younger and they were all linked to safety and preventing harm to people close to me and protecting myself and my things - I used to hide all my toys and possessions under my bed every night to protect them from burglars,for example. In my teens and early twenties it became gradually stronger and I lived in fear of inadvertantly causing harm to others by being careless or not doing something properly - locking doors, turning taps off, maybe I accidentally poisoned something ?? Childhood things might have been triggered by death of my brother at 10 when I was 13 - he died of a rare cancer and I think it might have made me realise how vul nerable and fragile we are and that my parents couldn't protect him so it was up to me to take responsibility.
It really kicked in in my early twenties and I would say it was the worst ever thing - it made my life so difficult when it could have been fantastic (and it was a pretty good life -I had everything going for me) - my hands were washed raw with repeated rituals...I went to see a psychiatrist my mum had found - privately - cost a fortune and went on for a couple of years and apart from dissecting everything about my past life and dreams it did bugger all...I then carried on with other psychotherapies over the years with no discernible results. I did go into a hospital for a year which was traumatic and wanted so much to be out of there and better that it did spur me to get a real grip on my obssessions. This was a famous psych. community in W London which again was interesting but maybe not the right thing !
The OCD waxed and waned over this time, never as badly

as it had been and life returned to being fine and happy.
Years later when pregnant when life was again lovely it returned and I was then treated with CBT and anti depressants and it worked. Later I had a bit of a relapse when expecting ds but managed it all with the help of my fantastic gp - no drugs or anything,just understanding.
I still have it to a certain extent but I manage it and my life is fine, I juist think and worry a lot !
I have had hypnotherapy which I can also recommend for relaxing and getting your mind realigned into less convoluted thinking.
I hope this doesn't sound like a catalogue of gloom and make you feel more anxious for your dd...people know so much more about OCD now and I think if your dd is seen now it can be nipped very firmly in the bud.
I think that all of us have it in us to develop OCD as it's a safety device which most people have with a cut off like an RCB but in some people it short circuits and we don't know when or how to switch the power off - it's just getting your mind to re learn your responses to situations and CBT will teach your dd the realistic likelihood of something 'bad' happening if she doesn't do her rituals/say mantras etc...really,there is hope,I promise. Do get in touch through mumsnet if you like of course.
I have grown up to have a pretty good life, I have a successful illustratrating career,good friends and family and a lovely son and dh smile

MaryAnnSingleton Sun 13-Apr-08 08:49:14

doh, confused bit in there - I had a relapse before I got married which was successfully treated with CBT and ads,not when I was pregnant, but symptoms returned in pregnancy and were managed by helpful and understanding GP - it got a bit garbled in my haste to write everything down !

gracepaley Sun 13-Apr-08 08:55:04

MAS thank you for your story. It's v heartening. You have a partner, a child and a wonderful job, despite the OCD.
You must be very determined and brave. I am going to hold on to the fact that she has it NOW and it doesn't mean she is always going to have it - I mean it will always be in the background, but it doesn't have to impede her life. the other thing is that although I keep reading that it is a "no fault" neuro behavioural disorder, I can't help feeling that I have caused it in some way.

TotalChaos Sun 13-Apr-08 09:01:59

Hi grace. I've had bad spates of OCD over the years, but with the aid of prozac and CBT am very well. First line treatment for children is CBT, with medication as a last resort. As MAS has said above, be very wary of anyone who wants to treat OCD by delving into the past too much - it's not the recommended method. When I was PG I had a twat of a counsellor try and resolve my OCD by telling me to hug my inner child hmm.

If waiting list is long, it may be worth going private - 12 sessions of CBT at £50 per session with a good clinical psychologist can make real inroads into the disorder.

MaryAnnSingleton Sun 13-Apr-08 09:03:58

no,you mustn't think that,though parents inevitably do..it just happens - don't beat yourself up about it...get her some help and you'll all feel great relief. Keep in touch as I'd love to hear how she does and have a lovely holiday smile

gracepaley Sun 13-Apr-08 09:08:27

Thanks, both. No am V clear that we want CBT for her, only. (In fact this type of CBT called E and RP - you heard of it? Exposure and ritual prevention.) Not interested in hugging her inner child at all. I can do that myself. And if the CAMHT isn't up to speed we will definitely go elsewhere.

TotalChaos Sun 13-Apr-08 09:17:07

yes, have heard of ERP, that's bang on, exactly the right thing for her to be having.

MaryAnnSingleton Sun 13-Apr-08 09:37:36

great - you sound very positive !

worrybum Sun 13-Apr-08 09:56:32

gracepaley I couldn't read this post and not reply. I suffered with OCD on and off from around a similar age although it was not diagnosed until I had a really bad episode during my early 20s. Similarly to MAS it centered around anxieties that I had. I would imagine really bad things happening to people close to me or myself and would have to carry out rituals to prevent them from happening. To point to just a few included washing hands repeatedly in order that I didn't 'contaminate' anyone, switching lights on and off 10 times so that I didn't blow the house up!?!?!? Taking the stairs 2 at a time and if I got to the top without imagining a certain loved one dying then they would be safe. As you say, they are so pointless but to a sufferer of OCD they are a necessity in order to 'cancel out' their fears and anxieties.

Over the years however the condition seemed to come and go and was never notice by my parents. I think my OCD was fuelled by anxiety and at times when I didn't feel anxious I didn't really appear to have the condition. My worst episode was about a year after my daughter was born. Obviously i had never loved anything so much in my life and my anxieties centered around her. My OCD was so bad that I was consumed by it 24/7 to the point where I was unsure of my own sanity. Fortunately I have a very loving and caring and supportive dh and family who recognised what was going wrong. I was taken to my gp who referred me immediately to the mental health team of my local authority. Following an assessment by a mental health nurse which happened within days what followed was six months of CBT with a psychiatrist and 8 years on I am happy, I couldn't ask for a better family and I have a successful career.

Anyway, the point of this really long post is to reassure you that there is light at the end of the tunnel and with the right support and treatment your dd will be absolutely fine. I no longer take ADs, these were only required initially for me. Obviously, as my name suggests, I still have anxieties but what mother doesn't? I just deal with them in a normal way!

I hope this helps you to feel better about it all. Your dd has a brilliant mum who is supportive and had recognised what help she needs. She will get through it smile

worrybum Sun 13-Apr-08 10:21:50

Just re-read my post and realised that when I said 8 years on it might sound like it has taken 8 years to get to this point. Just wanted to say that what I meant was that 8 years on I am still fine and although I do have spells where I feel as though the OCD could return I manage it without ADs and just by putting the lessons that I learned when I was having the CBT into practice and it works. For me it was only a matter of weeks from starting treatment that I recognised a huge difference and only 6 months before my psychiatrist said to me ''do you feel like you need to come and see me anymore?''.

MaryAnnSingleton Sun 13-Apr-08 12:08:08

that's a really good,positive story worrybum - so glad all is well with you smile

worrybum Sun 13-Apr-08 12:51:45

same to you MAS smile you have obviously coped remarkably well also. It can be torture to live with OCD, for the sufferer and their family. I always used to be embarrassed about it but now I can openly discuss it. Since feeling confident enough to talk about it it you find out how common a condition it can be. In fact some experts think that most people have obsessions or compulsions or both, just to varying degrees. Just so glad I got the right help when I did.

Keep us posted gracepaley and have a nice holiday.

gracepaley Sun 13-Apr-08 13:14:47

thanks WB. Really good positive story. I'm really worried about dd being bullied as a result of the OCD - some of her rituals are SO odd and SO obvious - keep reminding myself it's just a neurological hiccup. BUT kids can be cruel, if they don't know what's going on.

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