I have two children with behavioral issues. One is definitely ADHD with some tendencies on the Autism Spectrum. The other is ADD …but we’re leaning more toward OCD and Anxiety.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, known as OCD, gets made fun of often. When displaying an organized drawer or a color-coded closet of dress shirts, people remark, “Oh, I’m just a little OCD.”
A person -say, like, a relative of mine- who also insists on washed counters, hands, or cars is said to be “a little OCD.” We’ve associated the condition with a desire to avoid germs; with an anal tidiness.
It’s funny, right?
Of my two boys, however, the one with OCD is not the one who organized the toy cars or utensil drawers. He is also not the one who would reanimate himself from his death bed in order to get the last word or fist in during a disagreement.
The one with OCD fixates. Try an internet search for that. I have.
My son insists that he cannot stop dancing to music after watching Home, even when I explain that he can.
After denying him a cookie at Wal-mart, he still reminds me about it, in tears, months later.
When I opted to let him ‘cry it out’ on a trip home one time, he did not stop for 40 minutes. Diversions and distractions did nothing.
Not till my friend and fellow blogger, Stephen, mentioned obsessive thoughts did I consider other options. His description of symptoms of OCD (including a character in his new book with the condition) created answers to my frustrated questions.
When my son who fixates puts the dishes away, he does so haphazardly. He is not tidy nor a clean freak. In fact, he’s a hoarder; emotionally connecting to anything that belongs to him and insisting that he can’t live without it. I mean, literally.
I can speak logic to my son on the Autism Spectrum who loves to have the dishes all lined up. I can often break through his meltdowns and get him to redirect.
The other child? Not so much. If I don’t head him off right at the start by addressing his feelings and irrational thoughts as if they might possibly be real, he’s gone for hours. Or months.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder needs more than a flippant joke. It needs more than a suggestion of easily-handled tendencies. It needs more than people’s thinking one might be “a little” compulsive.
Most of all, for me and other parents seeking answers, OCD needs to be a viable answer when our child has to hit, flick, think, or routine in a myriad of other ways. From there, we need answers of how to work with them.
So don’t give up hope, parents. Get searching. Get answers.
Sunday, August 25: “The Beauty of Telling Children, ‘No,’” a word of advice in child-raising.
Monday, August 26: Wrote a poem titled, “Mother, May I?”
Tuesday, August 27: Shared a quote that John Wilmot may have said.
Wednesday, August 28: Talked about composting!
Thursday, August 29: “Sick Leave for Parents,” a snippet about how we never get a break.
Friday, August 30: Talked chores for children in, “Kids Can Work!”
Saturday, August 31: Shared Daddydoubts Tweet about He-Man.
Sunday, September 1: That’s today!
*Rhett and Link include a note with their YouTube video: We understand that OCD is a serious mental disorder that significantly affects the lives of millions of people (including Rhett’s wife). This song is not intended to make fun of people with OCD, but rather to demonstrate and poke fun at the tendency of so many people to point out things that are off-center, off-balance, etc. and say “It’s driving my OCD crazy!” We have an extensive discussion about this very thing, as well as what OCD really is, on this episode of Good Mythical Morning: http://youtu.be/-1QeJAmpvGk
©2019 Chelsea Owens