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mattphillips78

How best can I help my daughter?

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Hi Everyone,

I hope you are all well and beating this horrible condition and defeating it and coping ok despite the craziness going on around us at this time.

I have been living with OCD since an early age (I'm now 42).

My 10 year old daughter has suffered with anxiety since a very early age and has had one or two sessions with the local CAMHS team and is on the waiting list for a further session.

However my blood has run cold in the last week when it became apparent that she is showing signs of the very type of OCD I have suffered with in that she is constantly confessing any small thought, innocent action to us and spends a portion of her free time outside school weeping and getting very upset. She is caught in that vicious circle many of us are familiar with but I don't have a clue how to address it or help her at her age and I want her to always be able to talk to her Mum and Dad when she is feeling distressed or worried. 

But I also know from my own CBT that it just feeds the cycle. It's such a hard balance and we have gone back to telling her to tell us her worries.

Thank you for any help or experience you have with this. We are feeling very helpless as parents and seeing her so upset is hard to take.

All the very best,

Matthew

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Hi Matthew, 

It's great news that your daughter has had some CBT sessions already. You'll know from your own CBT that there's a difference between confessing what your worry is about (feeding the OCD) and talking about the fact you have these kind of worries. So you can safely encourage her to come to mum and dad to say she is feeling anxious without getting drawn into the specifics of the worries. Similarly, you can explain how the worry cycle works without falling into reassurance on whatever specific thought has upset her. That's not to say you can't ask about the specifics, just try to address the process rather than the worry itself. I hope that makes sense!

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