In Part II of our overview of OCD symptoms, we will look at a few more examples of this condition that can sometimes be quite severe. Read on to learn about fears and temptations that some sufferers must cope with every day.
If you haven’t read the first part of this article, click here.
A milder form of OCD might result in an avoidance of breakable items.
With a more severe form of OCD, the person might actually grab the dish and throw it down to get rid of the fear.
Or she might thrust her hands into a pot of soup just to prove that the consequences won’t be as bad as she fears.
Here again, remember that the child with the more severe form of OCD does NOT want to perform these drastic compulsions any more than the child with mild OCD would. In other words, they BOTH want very much not to break or ruin the item in question.
A child with mild to moderate OCD might be reluctant to get out of the car while in the store parking lot. He might be afraid he will “bolt.”
A person with severe OCD might never want to leave home or may never want to leave a specific room of the house.
Another child with severe OCD might do the opposite. He might, as a result of his fear, actually run out of the house and down the street.
Both kids need help with their OCD symptoms, and in these severe cases parents or caregivers should consult with a professional trained to help people overcome OCD.
IMPORTANT: If you have a child who tends to wander or who might run out of the house, consider installing double cylinder deadbolts on each door that leads to the outside of the home. Taking precautions now can avoid devastating results later. Check out this article for more information.
With a mild case of OCD the sufferer might be afraid of not giving in to a superstitious belief, such as the fear of walking under a ladder or he may be afraid that something bad will happen to him if he steps on the cracks of a sidewalk.
A more severe case of these OCD symptoms might occur in some children with autism. Some cases of self-injurious or aggressive behavior might actually be OCD compulsions. The child might hurt herself just to prove to herself that it won’t be all that bad.
If a child’s aggressive or self-injurious behavior is a result of OCD symptoms, it would go without saying that her condition is quite severe because it greatly interferes with practically all facets of her life.
If your child has aggressive or self-injurious behaviors or any other severe symptoms that interfere with her daily life, seeing an OCD professional could be extremely beneficial.
Keep in mind that not all cases of aggressive or self-injurious behavior are caused by OCD. These severe behaviors can also be rooted in frustration, agitation or some other issue.
The sufferer feels compelled to make a specific vow, especially to God.
Or he may have disturbing thoughts tempting him to curse someone.
These particular OCD tendencies can be quite disturbing and even nightmarish to the sufferer, who feels completely horrified at the thought of making the vow or uttering the curse.
These obsessions are sometimes linked to a tendency to perform a “double” compulsion. More on this in an upcoming article.
The difference between mild, moderate and severe OCD lies in the degree to which this condition interferes with daily life.
For example, a person with mild OCD who fears contamination from germs or dirt might spend a total of one to two hours a day thinking about germs and dirt and washing her hands a few times to calm her fears.
The person with moderate OCD might have more fears of germs leading to more excessive washing and more time spent keeping herself clean. The amount of time and attention spent on sanitizing herself might begin to interfere with her social life or even her ability to function at a job.
But the person with severe OCD might refuse to leave a specific room of the house out of fear of contamination in addition to excessive efforts to keep herself clean.
I realize I probably sound like a broken record, but I feel the need to repeat that none of these kids with OCD want to do these things.
It’s important to remember that kids with severe OCD are going through a lot of fear, anxiety and sometimes tormenting thoughts. So we really need to be very patient with them.
If a vase or a favorite dish gets broken, we must remember that our kids are so much more important than things. It’s so important to resist the temptation to become angry when something like that happens. Such a reaction from Mom or Dad will only increase the pain the child is facing.
Remember that most likely your child wanted very much NOT to break that favorite dish. It’s just that she’s dealing with some horrific, disturbing thoughts and fears.
The more understanding we can show to our kids, the more we can help to lessen the pain and suffering resulting from their OCD symptoms.
Again, I must emphasize that living with severe OCD can be a living nightmare with seemingly no escape in sight. So we need to give our kids as much love, help and support as we can, and try to get them the help they need.
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America's article on the less obvious OCD symptoms that we should watch for in school can inform parents and teachers on which kids might need extra help with OCD issues. Click here for more information.
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