OCD and Anxiety advice for my 17yr old daughter

Hi i am after some advice if anyone can advise please. My 17yr old has been sufferring with what i thought was a bit of depression and stress, she has been pulling out her eyelashes and hair and got reafered to cbt therapy. My daughter left the councilling and informed them she was feeling alot better, but informed me last night that this wasnt the case! My daughter thinks that she is mental and needs help, i asked her the reason why and she informed me that she thinks she has ocd and anxiety problems, due to doing the list below.

Feeling worries all the time

worried about not turning off her hair straightners and going back 4 times to check that they are turned off.

if shes ill she worries she may pass it on to someone and kill someone.

pulling and tugging her hair and not realising she is doing it

not being bothered about how she looks but then worrys when she is out and about of what people think of her.

tapping her hand so many times

when eating food she goes round the plate in order and doesnt eat it as a meal.

Thinking negative thoughts all the time.

I have made her a doctors appointment for today hopefully, i just want to try and understand and be there for her to help her get through it. I just want my girl back :-( Thanks for listening i appreciate any feedback

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  • Hello, 

    I have been in your position. My daughter was 18 when she had her first big OCD spike.  Our family had been through a few traumatic events and my daughter was diagnosed with depression and anxiety then one weekend, she was just not right. I kept asking if she was okay and she'd say "yes" but I knew she wasn't. On the Monday I got everyone else off to school then went to my daughters bedroom, sat on the bed and she just looked at me and cried. She then gave me, what would've been her suicide letter. I read it and then I cried!  

    In the letter she told me she'd been having thoughts that she might harm her siblings and that she must be a terrible person for thinking such things and that she felt she had to kill herself to protect them from her but now she felt even worse because she couldn't even bring herself do that! 

    And I'm SO glad she didn't. 

    OCD, is EVIL. it takes your worst fear and uses it against you. It also doesn't usually affect the arrogant, couldn't care less person, it's usually the sensitive, nice people who feel guilty if they upset someone. 

    The hair pulling I'm also familiar with as my middle of my 3 daughters pulls hair. It's called Trichotillomania officially.

    OCD and other conditions are often found together and one of the common co-morbid conditions is Tourettes.  Trichotillomania comes under the tourettes umbrella. 

    There's different medications that can help with Tourettes that not used in OCD/anxiety and they, plus some therapy that is specific may help.

    Also, just knowing that you are not alone, you're not the only person who feels like this can help and that goes for Mum too!  It's hard to see your child (no matter how old they are) going through such torture. 

    Xx

  • When his patients find themselves involuntarily thinking undesirable thoughts, Dr. Schwartz encourages them to recognize this as merely a symptom of their OCD. He instructs them to think, “It’s not me, it’s my OCD.” It is not their true, inner person who is thinking such thoughts. The involuntary thoughts are merely a symptom of a portion of their brain that is malfunctioning.

    Brain Lock: Free Yourself from Obsessive-Compulsive Behavior, Jeffrey M. Schwartz, MD, observes “No one ever does anything morally objectionable because of OCD.”

    Dr Schwartz explains that there is actually an area of the brain that shows hyperactivity in those who suffer from OCD. It is called the orbitofrontal cortex, and it is located on the underside of the front of the brain. It is believed that one of the functions of the orbitofrontal cortex is to help us assess the risks, punishments and rewards that will result from our behaviors. PET scans reveal that there is excess activity in this region of the brain in those who are going through an OCD episode. Does this mean that the orbitofrontal cortex is damaged in OCD sufferers? Perhaps not. If the orbitofrontal cortex is constantly at work evaluating the consequences that could result from undesired thoughts during an OCD episode, then this hyperactivity of the orbital cortex may possibly be a result, and not the cause of OCD. 

    benotconformed.org/thoughts...

  • You may find some helpful information on this site about Trichitillomania howtostoptrichotillomania.com/ All the best.

  • Stagnation is the cause of depression connected disorders. Get rid of depression and suffering humanity's released so do good be kind help needy and others. Hands holding a broom or that are holding a heart that's hurting or holding another hand won't be part of introvert repeat cycles. Turning the telly off tends to be a first step out of futility, look outwards, what can usefully be done for someone else... Enjoy

  • Hi,

    I know this was posted a year ago, but i just wanted to share my experience as an OCD/ trichotillomania sufferer and I think I may be the same age as your daughter as i'm 18 now. I was diagnosed with OCD about half way through secondary school, maybe year 9? So around 13/14yrs old. I was referred to a long series of psychiatrists all with a focus on CBT (except for the very first which focused on CAT therapy- I was having issues with dealing with relationships due to my anxiety levels at the time) and I only really felt comfortable with the first therapist I saw. This was also the case with the Dr at the clinic assessing my medication (I currently take 150mg of Sertraline every night before bed) as I found I liked the second doctor that was assessing me more than the first (a lot of the changes were due to problems with the NHS which was unfortunate but couldn't be helped). I found that this doctor and the first therapist didn't talk down to me but as an equal and I found that this really helped.

    However, because i'm now 18, I no longer receive therapy. I find that I can keep my symptoms under control although I think this may be due to the medication, particularly as it's the second highest dosage available. My coping mechanism is to detach myself from it really; all these therapy sessions and I still don't really know how to describe it, how ironic. I'll hopefully be starting university this September provided exams go well (another period of dread as symptoms flare up with stress). I've applied for a Disability Allowance to cover the cost of a much needed en suite room which will hopefully reduce my anxiety during the transition. I'm not sure how i'll cope as I only know when i get there but so far I find that I have been able to adapt to seemingly difficult situations e.g. I went on a school trip to Budapest and stayed with a host family there when I was 14/15 and I think I managed pretty well. Also, although its strange (as I'm sure you know OCD, or any mental illness for that matte, follows no rhyme or reason) personally I find that my symptoms are worse when i'm at home in an environment and around people i'm more comfortable with whereas i'm more self conscious around others and so I'm able to hide it better.

    Sorry for rambling on, but feel free to ask any questions if you still have any. It's comforting to know i'm not the only one my age out there experiencing this. At present, my friends don't know about my OCD but i plan to be more open about it at uni particularly as we'll be living in such close quarters, I feel that it is important info to disclose. I hope your daughter is getting on well,

    Thanks for sharing,

    Georgia x

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