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Help! I think my daughter might have OCD
March 20, 2008
8:09 am
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shyshy
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My 12 year old daughter periodically comes to me and tells me the devil is trying to bring her down. She has constant thoughts of hurting someone or hurting herself. Her mind tells her she is a devil child, that she is bad etc.

I don't know where these thoughts are coming from. I could say it's because she just hit puberty but this is not the first time. Until now, it was just mostly fear. Now this fear has turned into thoughts.

The spiritual background in me tells me it's the devil playing with her mind. The logical side of me went on the internet and did some research and it sounds a lot like OCD. Can anyone give me some insight or has anyone been through this with their kid?

March 20, 2008
8:11 am
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shyshy
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She's been going to a church in town and I think coupled with some stories I told her of things my brothers went through may have triggered these thoughts.

However, they are thoughts that plague her and she is having a very difficult time with it.

March 20, 2008
9:51 am
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Pressing
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Shy,

I'm sorry you have to see your daughter go through this. It must be really hard and confusing.

If your daughter started hearing someone to tell them her to do things, coupled with fear, this is may also be signs of schizophrenia. Which does not usually show up in a child till later in life.

The fear part is usually anxiety, but since she states the devil is trying to bring her down, that is not necessarily a part of anxiety.

Has she had anything traumatic happen that may have stirred these thoughts up.

You mentioned your brothers having problems, were they ever diagnosed with anything?

I'm not a doctor but I have taken a few psychology classes. It would definately be a good idea to take her to a psychologist before it gets worse.

Here are a few sites you can check out. Just copy and paste one into your URL

http://www.nmha.org/go/informa.....n-children

http://www.mayoclinic.com/heal.....a/DS00868/
DSECTION=2

http://www.webmd.com/anxiety-p.....e-disorder

Hope this helps some
Pressing

March 20, 2008
10:03 am
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shyshy
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She isn't hearing voices. At least, she hasn't told me she is. She said these are thoughts that just pop in her head and she has a very hard time getting rid of them.

She has not gone through anything traumatic really other than my divorce but that was six years ago.

She has always struggled with fear but never really struggled with thoughts like this. She just got her period, don't know if that has anything to do with anything. She also has friends that have mentioned to her wanting to commit suicide. She has been getting a lot of information from the youth pastor of the church about spiritual things and doing things to please God so you don't go to hell etc.

Considering she's so uncomfortable with scary things I think she's obsessing over the whole spiritual thing. She tells me she's afraid she's going to do something that is going to make God stop loving her and land her in hell.

I told her God will never stop loving her no matter what she does and that he knows she is not perfect. No one is. I also told her her only spiritual responsibility right now is to love God and believe in him and aside from that, just to be the normal, health 12 year old that she is.

Our talks always make here feel better for the time being but a few hours later the thoughts start plaguing her again.

I'm struggling with bringing her to church and having the pastor pray for her or bringing her to a professional and having he assessed. If they tell her she's OCD or anything else they will want to medicate her. I do not want my child medicated. Other than these thoughts that she recently started having she is a happy, energetic 12 year old that does well in school and loves to stay active.

March 20, 2008
11:50 am
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Pressing
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Shy
She could be going through the begining stages of anxiety. When I reached my puberty years I started out sressing over things with anxiety, then began to do that in regards to health, becoming a hypochondriac, which then esculated into panic attacks, then to agoraphobia, where I didn't want to leave my house.

I am saying that to say, if your daughter is experiecing anxiety its best to get her some help. But I would say professional help. My parents never took me, they just told me I was being rediculous and it continued to esculate because as a child I didn't know what it was.

I can say this, it is as real as day to your child, she will not even being able to fully explain how she is feeling. Its extremely scary to her and confusing at that.

Please don't short change her.
If you don't want her to have meds stress that to her doctor/counselor but she really needs to be talking to someone professional. I am not against church, I attend all the time. Have been since I was very young but pastors don't really know how to counsel in that sense. They are not experienced with Psychological issues apart from a counseling class or two.

I was able to talk myself out of my anxiety when I was younger, it took about two years to do but again I had to do it by myself without help. Needless to say, I never really dealt with the issue that was causing it.

Now here I am in my early 30's going to counseling for the first time in my life. I have been diagnosed with depression and Post traumatic stress disorder stemming from past childhood abuse. I live a normal life, have a degree in education and am now in school again with a 4.0 GPA majoring in biology to become a registered nurse and minoring in psychology.

In my case the depression just came on out of nowhere. Its from not dealing with past issues, and if they are not dealt with your little girl will continue the cycle.

I am not sure what stirred your little girls anxiety but I know post traumatic stress can take years to show up as mine did. Perhaps the divorce can be affecting her now but she doesn't even realize that herself.

I do not take meds. I am dealing with it through just talking with a counselor.

Please consider taking her to see one.

Pressing

March 20, 2008
12:16 pm
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Pressing
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Shy,

I actually see a Christain counselor. She's really great.

I am not sure what area you live in. But I hear that Safe harbor Christian counseling is in quite a few areas.
You may want to check and see if they have one in your area. That will probably help put you at some ease about seeking professional help for your daughter.

Here is a website you can check out. If you are not in any of those areas, there are christian counselors all over, again you will need to check their credentials.

They need to be professioanlly trained in the field of Psychology by a credited university and have knowledge and expereince in the field of what your daughter may be experiencing such as axiety.

http://www.safeharbor1.com/htm.....elors.html

Pressing

March 21, 2008
7:27 am
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shyshy
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Thanks Pressing. I really appreciate all of your information and sharing your experience. She was doing a little better last night. She hadn't eaten all day because it was bugging her so much so her stomach started to hurt but before she went to bed she had something to eat which is a good sign.

She slept good but when she woke up this morning she said the thoughts were back. I told her to shut the door on them. She's trying. I told her I would make an appointment with a therapist. She was a little concerned and said "what if she tells me I'm crazy and wants to give me medicine" I told her psychiatrists are for crazy people. Therapists is just someone you talk to who will ask you questions and offer advice.

March 21, 2008
11:49 am
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Pressing
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Shy,
I am really glad you are making an appointment for your daughter, she really has to talk through what is going on, even if she can't explain it all. You certainly don't want it to esculate.

Let her know it will not be unusual for her to feel uncomfortable for a little while until she learns to trust the counselor.

Let her know she can tell the counselor anything she wants, and that its not weird to think she is crazy, many kids who go through anxiety think that, but they are not. I had the same thoughts at the time. Believe me her counselor is not going to think she is crazy either.

PS..on another note...Psychiatrists are not for crazy people. Some people benefit from both counseling and medication. Counselors and Psychologists are not allowed to prescribe medication, so they send their patient to a psychiatrist who prescribes the meds. Though I have never been to one myself, this is something I learned from my psychology instructor last semester:)

Psychiatrists at this point are the only ones who can prescribe them (because they went through medical school); however, there is rumor in the community that they may begin to train liscenced professionals to do it also.

Hope everything goes well with your daughter.

Pressing

March 21, 2008
11:52 am
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Pressing
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Almost forgot, I love to hear how things are going for your daughter.

Pressing

March 22, 2008
11:28 am
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StronginHim77
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Very definitely, seek out a Christian psychologist who will approach her situation from both a psychiatric AND spiritual stance. The National Association of Christian Counselors and Therapists has local memberships in each State. (For example, in my State, it is called the "Florida Association of Christian Counselors and Therapists.) Check out your State Assn. online and locate a licensed, professional Christian therapist near you.

I am a member of the FACCT, studying to raise my level of licensing. Having been through a year of secular therapy AND a year of therapy with a Christian psychologist, I found the spiritual/psychological approach of the Christian psychologist far more effective than the purely secular approach.

My best to you...

Ma Strong

March 22, 2008
2:57 pm
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loverbee
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I hate to point this out, but you say she hasn't gone through anything traumatic at all except the divorce. I hate to say this but are you sure you would know? I had many traumatic things happen that my parents had no idea about. I would definitely get her into therapy if you can. I suffer from ocd and although the thoughts aren't about the devil, they can be very hard to control. She needs someone who specializes in this sort of thing. That is what I would say.

March 22, 2008
4:58 pm
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thewall
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Shy,

Good for you for getting her to see a counselor. It does sound like she may need medication though along with counseling, and your counselor can refer you to someone who is trustworthy for meds. This is a situation that wont go away so good job for getting that appt. Dont cancel it for anything. She needs help dealing with this and with getting rid of those thoughts.

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