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michelle7 11-04-2003 06:41 AM

Have you tried going to a website,such as ***** and printing out the information you find on ocd? Maybe this could help you in bringing up or discussing the subject with your parents.If you have all the information right in front of you,perhaps it will not only educate them on the subject,but maybe show them how serious you are about it,that it bothers you so much that you have taken the time to do research on it,and having this information will help you to show how this relates to you.I know as a mother of 3 children(16,10 and 5) that parents get distracted with things going on in their own lives.Sometimes,parents don't notice the extent to which something is bothering their children,and this is why,if you do decide to bring it up again,you need to ask them when they will have the time to sit down and discuss this problem you are having.Tell them it is extremely important and you would like to talk to them when they aren't busy.Maybe try talking to one parent at a time?If these things don't work,perhaps they are in denial as someone already suggested.If they don't take it seriously,maybe showing them information about it will help.I feel that ocd is not portrayed in the media correctly.They don't talk enough about the intrusive thoughts,a lot of times they make it sound freaky,by showing the most extreme cases of ocd,people who require hospitalization and focusing on the behavior part of it,rather than the thoughts that cause them.This gives people the wrong impression,it gave me the wrong impression years ago,when I first heard of it,and I had it all along,and didn't realize it until now.I'm glad you have your sister for support.From the things you wrote,although I am not a dr.,it sounds like you have it.If your parents won't help you,definetely find some self help books on ocd for you and your sister.Hang in there.Good luck.

sweetpoison68 11-05-2003 08:23 AM

In my opinion just from you told us.I would say that your parents probably just dont know how to deal with this!!!I am not excusing their behavior however my parents are like this and ironically i married a man like this!!When the issues are too much to bear some people find it easier to push it under the rug..I have a 12 yr old daughter and i work very hard at making sure we dont push anything under the rug ..We deal with whatever comes and if i dont have the answers we will find them{library}. I dont want her to feel like you do or like i did with my parents.If we dont take the time to address our kids issues and help with problems then who will????..I agree w/other poster go to the library and read everything you can get your hands sound as if you want help and you sound very smart!!! I really feel for you.I am a 35 yr old mom and wife and i can really relate to you!!!I have not been diagnosed but i sure do have alot in common with the people on this board including you.You sound like a lil version of me!!!! I have never told anyone about what goes on in my head..I had never known anyone else was like this until coming here...All this info i have found has got me on overload...I am gonna take my own advice and make a trip to the library today!!!!I wish you all the very best ..Gotta go..

gogocrazy 11-06-2003 07:01 PM


Thanks for all of the replies, it really helps.

My sister doesn't want to tell my parents anything, but I tried to bring it up with them again by myself. I didn't bring any research along, just in case I'm wrong, but I think I might soon. I told them that, like my dad, I apparently sometimes move my toes and I don't notice (my sister told me that, and I know it's right, because I just saw them moving now). I told them that maybe it was something with the brain, and I'd like to get it checked out, but they just dismissed it. So, I told them that I have a lot of strange rituals, and that I'd like to get that checked out. They told me not to worry, that my dad has strange rituals also, so I asked them to give me an example. They gave me the example that he always does things in the same order every night, and he always checks things. For instance, even if he sees that the door is wide open, he has to get up and check it to be sure. Also, if someone locks a door, he has to check it for himself. I'm aware that constantly checking things is a symptom of OCD, so of course that was the first thing that came to my mind. Of course, it didn't sound like it took up too much time, but who knows, I mean I don't think he'd say anything. Anyways, I said that I'd still like to have it checked out, so my mom sarcastically said "By who? A phycologist?" So I told her that I would, but she said "No, it's not serious." So I tried to tell her about one of my symptoms, where I stretch out my fingers and swallow, then I end up coughing because I choke, and she looked at me like I was insane before I finished, so I just stopped and asked her if I could tell the family doctor, and she agreed, but sounded unenthusiastic like she didn't care, and said "He'll just tell you the same thing we are. You're normal." My dad then said "I told you that you could talk to the family doctor when you talked to me before. Do what you want," and the conversation was basically left at that. Has your opinions basically stayed the same?

Also, I'm still really scared of being wrong. I know that you can't give a 100% accurate diagnosis, but you know more than I do. I was wondering if you think there's a chance I could be wrong?

As I mentioned before, I always pick at anything that looks like a zit or blackhead (and it's neither most of the time), and that I often obsess over past conversations, possible conversations, or conversations that are possible, but that are very unlikely. In addition to my other symptoms, would you classify these symptoms?

Thanks for all of the help.


MrsLee 11-12-2003 04:30 PM

Hi Daniela,
Ii read your posts a couple days ago and tried to respond, but something was messed up with the website and I wasn't able to send it. I just feel compelled to respond to what you've said. I feel like we have some things in common, and I thought I'd share a little of my story with you and give you a couple suggestions.

First of all, you sound like a very bright and articulate young lady. I think it was VERY brave of you to try to talk to your parents about this problem, and I think you are even braver (more brave?) to keep trying after it didn't go very well.

I am 21 right now, and I believe I may have OCD, though I have never been diagnosed. When I was about your age, I was having a lot of problems. Looking back I can almost "diagnose" myself now that I have learned more about mental issues. I believe I have had OCD my whole life, and when I was about 11-14 I was very depressed and injured myself sometimes. I had no idea why I was doing what I was doing, but now I understand a little better.

That's why I really commend you for being proactive and trying to help your situation. I have never told anyone (well someone in person that I know) about my past except for my husband. No one ever knew I wanted to kill myself everyday, that I cut and burned myself for no reason, that I was stuck in my own mind obssessing about anything and everything. I would have NEVER told my parents. I suffered silently, and needlessly, because I was too weak of a person to do something about my situation. I guess I still am, because after getting married in June, I am no longer on my mom's insurance and can now go to the doctor whenever I want to. I just haven't gone yet. I guess since I am not cutting myself or having suicidal thoughts any more I can't justify it in my own mind. Which is really dumb, I know.

Anways, back to my point, I think you are very intelligent, and I know you can get through this. You are at a very tough age, and I think it does get better for most people. But you really do need to see a doctor. I thought of a couple suggestions for you in help communicating with your parents.

First of all, do you have another adult that you could talk to that might be able to talk to your parents with you (or for you)? Maybe a grandparent, aunt, uncle, teacher? It seems a lot of times parents don't take their kids seriously (and they should!), I know mine didn't (actually they still don't). Most parents also can't accept the fact that their children aren't their definition of "perfect". Children are seen as an extension of themselves, so if their child is not perfect, it hurts their egos. Maybe this is why they are telling you "you're fine, you're normal." You are normal, but just like you'd go to the doctor if you had allergies or broke your leg, you need to go for this. Their behavior doesn't mean they don;t love you and want the best for you. They just don't understand and they may be in denial.

There is still such a stigma surrounding mental illness; many people do not have a clear understanding of it and think you can just "snap out of it". My husband is one of these people. He is a very caring person, but I don't think he understands. It's hard to explain to someone that has not experienced it what it;s like to know you're doing something strange and have no way to stop yourself, even though you hate the fact that you do it. I think that it why I still haven't gone to the doctor, I want him to understand first.

So if you had another adult talk to them, maybe your parents would "wake up" and realize they need to quit brushing the issue off. Looking back now, I should have talked to my grandma about it, she would have helped me.

Another idea (and I think someone may have already mentioned it) is to write them a letter. I sometimes have trouble expressing myself in verbal words and feel I can better explain myself in writing. Also, I am a very non-confrontational person and I get scared to talk about something like this with people. When you write it down, you don't have to worry about saying something wrong or leaving something out because you can read it many times before giving it to them. Maybe that would be a better way to get to them.

Well I just thought I'd share a little of my experience and try to give you some suggestions. At the very least, I hope it helps you realize you are not alone. I hope you'll continue to post here, because now I really want to know how you are doing.

I wish you the best of luck and I will keep you in my prayers. Take care!

gogocrazy 11-19-2003 05:01 PM


Sorry for not replying sooner. I've been pretty sick lately, so I haven't gone on my computer.

Thanks for the reply. The suggestions really help, and so does knowing that someone's gone through this at my age, and knows what I'm feeling.

Sometimes I feel very motivated to tell my parents (particularly at night when they've gone to bed) and sometimes I think I can live with this until I'm old enough to go to a doctor on my own (particularly when I first wake up). However, lately I haven't been courageous enough to bring it up again. I've been sick recently, and I didn't really perform my rituals during that time. I still picked at my face a little and thought about possible conversations (if those are symptoms, I'm still not sure), but it didn't take up nearly enough time. Then when I was feeling better, I told myself that I wouldn't perform the rituals anymore since I was better when I was sick and didn't wash my face every night because I didn't have the energy, but I couldn't. It was practically impossible for me. No matter how hard I tried, I still couldn't stop myself, I felt like I had to do them. Since I was better when I was sick, is there still a chance it could be OCD? Maybe it's because I didn't do the normal things, like washing my face thoroughly at night, I just splashed water on my face, so the rituals didn't come with it. I'm not sure.

I'm still terrified of being wrong. I don't know what everyone would think of me if I was wrong, and I have a lot of doubt in my mind. How do you think people would think of me if I was wrong, and what do you think the chances of me being wrong are? Thanks.

I've been trying to think of teachers that I could tell about this, but I couldn't really think of any. I'm so scared of being thought of as "The Kid Who Thought She Had OCD When She Didn't." I don't know why I'm so scared of this, but I really am.

I would say that the symptom causing me the most distress right now is the one where I swallow and stretch out my fingers. That accompanies most rituals, and whenever I do it, I nearly puke, and sometimes I do.

I have also started a new ritual, which actually started a few months ago, but it's causing me more discomfort now. Before I go to bed, I stand by the door and say the date and events: what's happening tomorrow, what happened today, etc. I don't say everything, just a few minor things, such as a birthday, but I always do it a few times because it doesn't feel "right" and since I will never be able to say the exact same thing, I think that I have to do it right. Is this also a symptom?

Anways, I better get going. I'll post if anything new comes up or if I think of something I forgot to post. Thanks again for the reply. I really appreciate it. Any replies to this post would be appreciated.


Arlecchina 11-20-2003 06:27 AM

Re: Do you think it's possible that I have OCD?
Honey, you sound like me....think of it this way, if you are obsessing over the idea you MAY have ocd, and it causes you distress, and you have a compulsion to seek reassurance, and you think of it over and over, making lists....what do you think that means?
You said your parents said you could ask your regular doctor. Go to NIMH and print out their OCD test, fill it out, add what else you want your doctor to know, and give it to him when you go.
much luck, dear, I know what you're going through. At 13 myself, I was pretty bad off but had NO idea what was wrong with me. Just thought I was crazy, thinking, I dont wash my hands a hundred times a day, which is ALL I knew about OCD. (this is all almost anyone knows, when I told my son's father recently he says, well yeah, I know you obsess and do stuff, but it's not OCD cause you dont wash your hands all the time...)
You're lucky to realize it now and try to help yourself.

MrsLee 11-21-2003 09:27 AM

Re: Do you think it's possible that I have OCD?
HI Daniela,

I understand that you are afraid you may be wrong about having OCD, and how you would feel if everyone knew you thought you had it and were wrong. But obviously, you are experiencing a lot of distress over this. Even if you don't have OCD, you have been smart enough to realize SOMETHING is wrong. And whatever it is, you need to get some help in figuring out what to do about it. Also, even if you were "wrong," everyone wouldn't know. Only your parents, or anyone else you choose to tell. Even if you did talk to a teacher, you don't have to tell him/her what your diagnosis is. That's personal business.

Have you considered writing a letter? As I said before, you are very articulate and seem to be able to express yourself with words very well.

Also, maybe you could try talking to just one of your parents, instead of both at the same time. Pick whichever one you are most comfortable with, and try to initiate the conversation sometime when they don't have a lot of other things on their mind. If you try to do it once they've gotten home from work, they are probably too busy thinking about work that day to give you their full attention. And if you try and talk to them before they go to bed, they are probably very tired and just want to get to sleep. Could you catch your mom or dad on weekend. Maybe go out to lunch or shopping with one of them. In a situation like this, they may be more willing to listen.

I hope this helps. Good luck sweety!

gogocrazy 12-04-2003 05:03 PM

Re: Do you think it's possible that I have OCD?

Thanks for the replies. They have helped a lot, as usual.

Lately I've found my "OCD" (in quotations because I haven't been diagnosed, so I may be wrong) is getting worse. I still think about washing my face, brushing my hair, brushing my teeth, etc. in the same order, but remember how I said I was swallowing and stretching out my fingers to make it feel "right"? I've been doing that a lot more lately, and it's really bothering me. It doesn't feel "right" unless I stimulate my gag reflex (occasionally I puke), and I always cough a lot. I have to do this while I'm reading (I still read one sentence over and over again that I understand perfectly, then go to the previous paragraph, and reading takes me forever), before I go through the bathroom door at night (I stand in front of the door, say the date, say any birthdays, and say how my friendships are). I always end up doing this a number of times, and I always have to stimulate my gag reflex. In my L.A. class I'm currently watching a video of a play that Shakespeare wrote, and at the beginning of the movie when I hear a word (it isn't a particular word, first class it was Orisino, second class it was parenthood, and today it was minks) I have to "type" it the whole class (where a keyboard would be if it was in front of my fingers). First I do it 5 times, then another 5 times, and this goes on for an hour, and I can't stop. It's really causing me a lot of distress.

I was wondering, before when I would ask myself why I do these rituals, I would say in case a burglar comes. However, now I say "If I don't do it, I don't have OCD." It's not that I want OCD, it's just that I'm terrified of being wrong (as I previously mentioned). Since my obsession isn't about burgulary, fire, flood, or anything of that sort, could it still be classified as an OCD obsession that would drive me to perform these rituals?

I think that I finally have enough courage to tell somebody. Well, I've told my close friend, and she really takes me seriously and she told me that I had to see somebody. I had another appointment today and I was thinking of telling the doctor there, but she was a specialist for teenagers so she wouldn't know much and my parents would probably get mad for not telling my family doctor or telling them straight on first. Instead, I mentioned it to my mom that I wanted to see the family doctor to find out if what I do is normal again, but she just laughed it off. I've decided that next time the doctor comes over (he comes to our house, so that would make it even easier to show him the NIMH screening test) I'm going to try to talk to him. If I'm right, then I'll hopefully get help. If I'm wrong, I'll have a lot of mixed feelings, but I've gained an immense amount of respect for people who have OCD. Besides, I really think that something is wrong, and it's definitely really bothering me. If that doesn't work (if he doesn't listen, or if my parents tell me to stop wasting his time), I'm probably going to tell my homeroom teacher. She asks me if I want to talk every Thursday because she's supposed to talk to me about how I like my class (the school split me up from all of my friends this year, so I've made one friend in my class, but the other girls give me the impression that they think they're better than me, and with 12 kids in a class it's hard to have many options) so I could easily tell her then. Also, if I don't feel comfortable telling my homeroom teacher or another one, I'm going to try to make an appointment with a doctor in the mall if I don't need parental consent (my friend recommended this and she said that she'd go with me). If I can't, I can always talk to one of my friends' parents who are doctors (this friend's mom is a doctor and both of my best friend's parents are). Thanks for all of the support. I'm going to really try to follow through with what I've said here.

Basically, I guess the point of this was to ask you if always stimulating your gag reflex by swallowing too much could be classified a compulsion? Also, could constantly "typing" out words over and over again? Could "If I don't do this, I don't have OCD" be a cause for OCD compulsions (if I think really hard and try to stop, the burglar issue comes up again and I can't stop doing these rituals, but that's the main reason when I think "I'm not going to do this")? I also wanted to thank all of you for your support. If it wasn't for you, I don't think I would have told any of my friends or consider telling my family doctor. I really appreciate it.


TerryB 12-04-2003 06:03 PM

Re: Do you think it's possible that I have OCD?
Yes to all you questions. It seems so obvious to me that you do have OCD. Every person with OCD is unique in how it is displayed. I have a sister that can not tell a lie. I have a niece that has a problem with compulsive lying. They both have OCD. Congratulations for having the stamina to pursue treatment despite the road blocks. Best of luck to you and keep us posted. Terry

gogocrazy 12-06-2003 05:13 PM

Re: Do you think it's possible that I have OCD?

Thanks for the reply.

My family doctor hasn't come over yet, but I've been looking around the internet to see if I can find anything that would be useful to give him. I had heard of the symptoms like obsessive religious thoughts, but I had never thought much of them. I noticed that I might have shown symptoms in that form a year or two ago. I would read my Bible every day, I would pray a lot and I would say "God bless" at the end of every e-mail and conversation. I thought that if I didn't, I would go to hell. I also remember, about four years ago, I went to my cabin. My backyard at my cabin is forest, and I remember spending a few hours a day trying to get the forest floor "stick free." Not the whole forest floor, but a little area near where the deck ends and the forest starts. I also remember continually cleaning a few hours a day about 2-3 years ago, cleaning ever room in the house, and I couldn't stand a mess. Another thing is that two years ago, I would always wash my hands after I touched my dog (my dog doesn't shed either, so it's not because I had dog hair on my hands or anything). Of course, none of these things seemed weird to me. All of these routines were obvious to my parents though. Could all of these be classified symptoms?

Another thing I was wondering because if the answer is no (I think it is, but I just want to be sure), maybe it could help me if I choke up when I'm telling the doctor about my symptoms, even though I'm sure I'm telling him, is it possible to completely recover from OCD with cognitive behavioral therapy and medication? What about without?

Anyways, I better go, thanks again!


P.S. I've also started touching all of my drawers in my room before I go to sleep. This is also classified a symptom, right?

TerryB 12-06-2003 06:47 PM

Re: Do you think it's possible that I have OCD?
OCD can manifest itself in many "creative" ways. Sometimes I can't tell if a quirky trait of my 4 year old is OCD or not. Sometimes it just doesn't matter if if does not interfere with your life. If something is "off" in my daughter's life and I'm not sure what is causing it then I talk with the OCD doctor. OCD is tricky. My daughter was running to the bathroom a lot and we thought she had a urinary tract infection. We ever had her urine tested. The OCD doc informed us that it was OCD and after using cognitive behavioral therapy "on it" it went away. So, I guess she was right. I have never seen compulsive toilet habits discussed on this board but sure enough this was OCD. I think that after you start seeing someone about this it will become clearer.

OCD waxes and wanes generally but is not cured totally. You just have to know how to recognize it and beat it down when it surfaces. You can lead a normal life generally especially if you start to treat it when you are young. If you are not sure if some of your quirky behaviors are OCD then you may want to think about how much of your time they are taking up (mentally or physically) and this will let you know if you need to "deal" with it. Some OCD behaviors are just embarassing so you might want to curb them. My sister eats in twos and no one notices and she is not motivated to do anything about it. If you give her one cookie she will break it in half without drawing attention to herself.

This board is great but can't replace a good OCD specialist. I don't mind trying to help at all but keep in mind that I am not qualified to be a psychologist. Make sure that any advice that you get here from me or anyone else agrees with the bulk of all your research. With all that I do know I still find the OCD specialist invaluable. My daughter sees her about every 2 months. I also understand your desperation to find answers so please keep posting but don't give up on your dream of seeing a psychologist.

Best of luck to you Daniela. I sense that you will be able to deal with this. Keep us posted. I do care. Terry

MrsLee 12-08-2003 08:00 PM

Re: Do you think it's possible that I have OCD?

I am happy to see you have posted again, I was wondering how you were doing. I am no expert, but it sounds as if you have OCD. I know your intentions are to tell someone about it, and I sincerely hope you follow through. I think you will feel a lot better it you get some help. Take care sweety! Good luck!

gogocrazy 12-13-2003 12:31 PM

Re: Do you think it's possible that I have OCD?
Hi! Thanks again for replying.

I've been pretty confused lately. I've been trying to stop my rituals and it's not working too well. When I tell myself "If you don't do this, you won't have OCD" I just try to tell myself that if I don't have OCD and I know it, I won't be wrong about anything because I wouldn't have gotten help yet. Now, however, I tell myself "If something happens to someone, it'll be your fault." I think that if I don't perform my rituals, it'll be my fault if something happens to someone I love, and sometimes I think thatthat something will actually happen. I'm not sure if this is because I have OCD, or if I've read about it and tricked myself into believing I have it, but I can't stop.

I told my best friend about this about a week ago. I never thought I would be able to tell her, but she has been very supportive without judging me. She found that to go to a walk-in clinic, I don't need parental consent, and she decided that we should go this weekend. Initially, I was thrilled and I couldn't stop smiling. I started bawling my eyes out I was so happy, I couldn't believe that I was finally going to get help. After about an hour, however, I couldn't stop crying because I was so confused. I would think about having to do my rituals, and I would try to stop, but I couldn't and I kept on crying. My friend's out of town now, and I'm so confused. I know I should go, but I can't stop worrying about whether I'm wrong. My friend gets back today, but I don't think I can go tomorrow. Hopefully I'll go soon, but I'm still very scared.

My "OCD" seems to be getting worse. I'm not sure if it's because I've been feeling stressed lately, or if it just is and I'm worrying myself into doing these compulsions. My "typing" compulsion is becoming much more frequent. First I have to do it 5 times, but it never "feels right," so I do it another 5 times, but an even number isn't good, so I have to do it another 5 times, and I can't stop or "I'll be at fault if something happens." Dispite my effort to stop my swallowing compulsion, I still do it, and I think more often than before. It's taking me longer to read because I often have to re-read sentences or paragraphs. I'm picking up new compulsions without dropping any of my old ones. For instance, I touchevery drawer in my room before I go to bed, and if I don't do it properly, I start again. I'm beginning to take a lot longer to draw a graph, because it has to be "perfect." I'm so confused, and as I write this I know that I probably have OCD but I get so scared. Also, I know right now that there's no point to my compulsions, but once I feel like I have to do them, I can't help it.

I know I should get help and I'm hoping I'll be able to go next weekend. Would you guys recommend going alone or going with a friend? Or do you think I shoudl wait for the family doctor like I was planning to do, or try telling my parents again? If you think I should go, are there any specific things you think I should mention or not mention? If they think I should get more help, do they have the power to make me get more help or tell my parents? Thanks, I really appreciate all of the help. I know I wouldn't be where I am and nobody would know if it wasn't for this board.


TerryB 12-13-2003 03:02 PM

Re: Do you think it's possible that I have OCD?
Go, tell, the first opportunity you have. You will get some control back. Terry

Sanguine 12-17-2003 11:32 PM

Re: Do you think it's possible that I have OCD?

Please go to the doctor ASAP, either with or without your parents. You will feel tons better once you get this officially diagnosed. It sounds like your parents may be in denial, and as a result, you seem to be as well. However, I can tell you unequivocably, without a doubt, based on everything you've said, that you have OCD in some form. Take the next step and get yourself help. You are a bright girl with a bright future -- don't let this condition take any more away from your life. If your parents are unwilling to take this seriously, then you need to do this yourself. That's very unfortunate, but sometimes people (like your parents) need a wake up call.

I hope everything works out. Keep us posted...

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