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JMG2020

Compulsive running

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My 14yo has had OCD for at least 3 years. She has had a range of phases, from hand washing, tidying and, more recently, running up and down in the kitchen for hours at a time. She has been through CAMHs but this didn’t really help. If we ask her to leave the kitchen she gets aggressive and can often become abusive and violent. We have found ways of managing but the thought of weeks of lockdown is filling us with dread. As she no longer has to get up for school she is running until 2 in the morning. We do try to remove her but this often gets physical and I am scared someone will get hurt. She refuses to discuss what drives this and I am at a real loss. Any thoughts?? 

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Hi JMG2020, 

Sending you sympathy for lockdown making your daughter's OCD harder to manage. :hug: 

Rituals are about trying to feel she has some control over her thoughts and feelings. It might help to sit down and talk about this as a family, not singling her out as the only one who feels things just now are beyond her control, uncertain or a bit frightening. If all family members get asked how they're feeling in turn and each has a chance to share their concerns, she might realise it's not just her and be more willing to discuss how she feels. 

The second part of the family meeting can then be brainstorming ideas and agreeing ways in which you are all going to help each other to cope with feelings of fear or uncertainty during the lockdown, and how you're going to keep yourselves occupied so you don't spend time worrying about your thoughts. 

By demonstrating how people without OCD deal with uncertainty and stress in a healthy way you will be teaching her a method of tackling and managing her OCD fears. 

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