OCD isn’t a preference for organization — it’s a never ending battle against overwhelmingly stressful stimuli

By Jennifer Aldrich: For More Info, Go Here…

My daughter is 16. Since she was very small, she has displayed signs of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I didn’t know enough about OCD to recognize the symptoms when she was little, so she wasn’t diagnosed until she was 12, when the stress of middle school hit and her symptoms went into overdrive.

I’m a single mom, it’s just been the two of us since she was 6 months old. Once I finally understood what was going on, I felt like a garbage parent for not recognizing the signs and getting her help sooner.

We started family therapy and it was just as important for me as it was for her. Up until her OCD diagnosis and the therapy started, she would say things to people and do things that I didn’t understand, and I’m incredibly ashamed to say that they would make me angry as a parent. She would offend people, including friends and family, and come across as rude. I would get agitated and try to make her understand why her actions were making people uncomfortable and she’d get even more stressed and upset. We argued constantly.

Understanding her thought process opened my eyes to an entirely different kid. She was fighting so hard every single day to function. She had panic attacks multiple times a day. She sat at a table alone at lunch so that her food wasn’t contaminated, not because she was anti social, she wished she could eat with friends but couldn’t bring herself to do it. She suffered from headaches due to her environment bombarding her with stimuli all day that was “wrong” that she didn’t have control to fix.

So many people don’t understand OCD, and that people battling it don’t mean to offend those around them. She experiences the world differently than you and I do.

Our family and friends understand what’s happening now too, and they’re very supportive of her. We’re really fortunate.

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