Do you often catch your child doing the same thing over and over again for no apparent reason? For example, tidying up his bag many times when going to school or the child often washing his hands repeatedly even though his hands are clean and dry? If the answer is yes, this could be a sign that your child is experiencing Obsessive Compulsive Disorder ( OCD ). So, how should parents deal with OCD in children? Can OCD in children be cured?
Understanding OCD in children
OCD is a psychological condition that is characterized by the presence of an uncontrolled anxiety towards something obsessive . This will cause the sufferer to do something compulsive or repetitive, so that his anxiety disappears.
OCD in children causes a child to compulsively do something repetitive or a certain ‘ritual’ to eliminate his anxiety. For example, a child is obsessed with the cleanliness of his hands so that he unconsciously washed his hands repeatedly until he was sure that his hands were free of germs.
Then, how do parents deal with OCD in children?
OCD in children is diagnosed when the repetitive behavior that is done has taken a lot of time, creates a sense of stress, and interferes with daily activities, such as school. Usually, children who experience OCD will often feel depressed and disturbed. Therefore, your child needs you, as a parent, to help him deal with this problem.
Children who have OCD need special treatment, cannot be equated with other normal children. Here are some ways you can deal with OCD in children.
1. Explain to the child the problem he has
To make it easier to take care of it, you should be able to tell your little one what he is experiencing right now. Not only is OCD disease, but also how this disorder affects the mind and behavior.
Of course, to be able to tell it clearly, you must understand the intricacies of OCD in children. You can start by searching for information on the internet with trusted sources or asking questions with psychiatrists and psychologists.
However, of course the information you will have to convey must be in accordance with the age of the child. The bigger it is, the more likely you are to explain everything about OCD.
You can also take it directly to a psychiatrist and psychologist to get further help. Experts will help you explain to your child about the disease.
2. Make the name ‘call’ for this disease
The easiest way to explain a child about OCD is to name OCD as ‘someone else’ who controls the child’s mind. You can call OCD with the name ‘the evil one’ or another creative name that can describe OCD in children.
You can tell him that this bad person often comes and asks him to do strange things. Also tell him that he can expel and reject orders from ‘the evil one’ so that the evil one can go away and not disturb him anymore.
3. Don’t say “stop doing that!”
When your child continues to do things that don’t make sense like checking his bag repeatedly, you should not say it to stop. Children tend to feel that you are ‘attacking’, telling them to stop doing things that actually make them calm.
Use the name ‘the evil one’ to ask him to stop. You can say, “Looks like the evil one told you to check your bag repeatedly? Come on, fight the evil one. Tell him that you have checked your bag, and there is nothing wrong with that bag! ”
4. Give confidence in the child
OCD in children causes your child to feel loss of confidence and anxiety. He felt anxious if he did not wash his hands many times, unsure whether he had locked the door, and did not believe that his book was in his bag.
Every time your child asks you a question to convince him, answer patiently and give confidence that the child is not anxious. For example, when a child is not sure whether the book is in the bag and checks many times, you can say, “I’m sure you put it in the bag, and you have already checked it. Tell the evil one if your book is safe in your bag. “Avoid saying in a negative tone like,” Haven’t you checked it hundreds of times? You will only make yourself late for school! ”
5. Invite and accompany children in taking therapy
Not a few children are reluctant when invited to do therapy. Well, you have to be very clever to persuade your child to go through all the therapies that he must live. Give understanding to your child, if this therapy is one way to get rid of the evil one.
Therapy that is usually done to treat OCD in children is the CBT or Cognitive behavioral therapy program. Through this therapy, children will be invited to get used to and understand what should be done when he feels anxious and do things repeatedly.
For example, if your child feels he will get sick when not washing his hands all the time, the therapist will help your child to learn that nothing bad will happen if the child stops this behavior.
In the process of therapy, the child will be invited to hold something he considers dirty and allow himself not to wash his hands for some time. The aim is to show that he will not get sick even if he does not wash his hands all the time.
OCD in children is a condition that can drain your mind, energy, and emotions as a parent. So that you don’t follow stress, you can search or join other parents who have children with OCD.
By finding a comrade, you can share information and support. Your child will also get emotional support when he realizes that he is not alone. In addition, regular seeing a doctor or psychologist will help, not only your child, but also you.