Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is one of the most annoying mental issues to live with. There is no cure for OCD and few specialized treatments.
However, the vagueness of this disorder also lends itself to some outside-of-the-box solutions.
It’s better to get diagnosed for OCD early in life than to live most of your time without knowing. If you have a child with OCD, below are some tips to help you help them.
Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing
Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is a form of therapy that has been gaining traction for its effective way of reprocessing parts of the brain.
This form of therapy can facilitate OCD because it helps rework some of the pathways that lead to the disorder.
You can rework obsessions and compulsions by following this form of physical therapy. It’s not like talk therapy.
EMDR is a physical way to treat the brain. Desensitization is a huge part of treating OCD, and it can also be done in other ways.
Take Them on Trips
When someone has OCD, they need to be pushed to leave their comfort zones. For example, a lot of people with OCD are afraid of germs.
What’s better to tackle that phobia than to take them traveling? Traveling at an early age doesn’t just desensitize people to germs, it builds the immune system.
It also desensitizes them to other obsessions and compulsions. When you are on the road, you can’t always mind the rules about numbers that OCD creates.
It isn’t easy to break these habits—some have described it as an itch you can’t scratch—but if you work on breaking some of these symptoms early it will help in the rest of their life. Travel is one way to shake up anyone’s world.
Prove that the Obsessions Aren’t Real
A common symptom of OCD is that the person believes if they do something in a certain number of numbers, something bad will happen.
This is entirely in the brain, of course. One way to help a child with OCD is to prove that what they are afraid of won’t happen.
You don’t need to turn on and off the lights three times. You don’t need to tap the door before you open it.
It’s okay to step on the cracks in the ground. OCD is manifested in so many ways, but often there is an obsession with something that won’t occur. Help this child by showing them that it’s all in their mind. This can help people with OCD overcome obsessions.
Encourage Meditation & Mindfulness
Nearly every mental health issue is facilitated by mindfulness practice. Mindfulness refers to the state of bringing your mind back to the current moment.
The most common and famous form of this is meditation.
To meditate, the person sits in a comfortable place. They close their eyes and focus on their breathing.
Some repeat a mantra while others allow their mind to wander slightly before bringing their thoughts back to the present, the moment they are in.
Listening to the quiet world around us helps with ruminative thoughts. It helps with obsessions and compulsive behavior.
Other forms of mindfulness include grounding techniques like counting backwards, taking a hot or cold shower, or holding onto an ice cube.
Grounding techniques shock the nervous system and bring thoughts into the present. Whatever the symptoms of OCD, they can be mitigated by mindfulness.
Motivate them to Exercise
Since OCD is essentially a form of an anxiety disorder, exercise can really help calm the symptoms. Exercise isn’t just good for your body, it’s vital to mental health as well.
If you don’t exercise, you won’t feel your best. The same goes for children, especially those with OCD. A lot of kids and teenagers don’t want to work out but explain to them that they will feel better when they do.
The mind will quiet, and their mood will calm.
OCD is difficult to live with because the cause is unknown, and the treatments are lacking. Luckily, you can mitigate OCD with a combination of treatments.
OCD should be attacked at all angles, and if you help your child get started early, the higher their chances of living a great life despite OCD.