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Sarah, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 143
Experience:  Chart'd Psych, 12 yrs exp. English prisons, Clinical Hypnotherapist, EMDR Therapist, BPS, HPC reg'd.
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My thirteen year old daughter seems to have OCD. I was diagnosed

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My thirteen year old daughter seems to have OCD. I was diagnosed with the obsessional many years ago; however, with medication, I have had a complete remission. Since she was six, after a hospital stay for pneumonia, my daughter developed anxiety related to questioning whether or not she was good in school, even though she knew she was. etc. Since losing her grandmother, two years ago, 9 I took care of her in my home), my daughter is far worse. She is compelled to tell me her worries. She worries that if she doesn't touch something , she will be cursed even though she knows that she won't. She keeps getting bad thoughts , particularly at night. She is driven craxy with these bad thoughts and is worried that she might be crazy even though she knows that she isn't. She has said that it feel as though her brain is hyperactive. Liz, my daughter, stays very active in sports. is very social, and worries constantly. It seems worse if she doesn't have plans all of the time. I wonder if she needs medication but I'm fearful it would change her personality. I would like to find a psychiatrist in Il because I don't want to put her problems in the hands of someone like a social worker. Please advise me. is there a non-antidepressant medication that would help? Like Buspar?
hi there,

Thanks for your question. I am sorry I cannot comment on the drugs for your daughter, but I wonder if I can recommend another treatment that could stop your daughter from being drugs or if she is put on drugs soon, this treatment could help her to come off them.

have you heard of EMDR eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing? It is a trauma therapy that is based upon the belief that when we experience a highly emotive experience (such as being hospitilised at age 6), then the subconscious mind can absorb beliefs about ourself and the world around us, which distorts our view of the world as if we are looking through a pair of coloured glasses. (you will have heard of someone wearing rose-tinted spectacles seeing the world in a favourable light no matter what happens to them?) Well, if someone believes, for example, that the world is not a safe place to be in, then this is the filter through which they will see most stuff that they come across. So the simplest of situations can be a risk and a challenge to them. They are able to take off their distorting glasses sometimes, but they can be triggered back on again by normal ordinary stuff that links back to the original memory or when they feel a similar emotion. it is possible that this is what is happening to your daughter. you say that she 'knows' she won't be cursed and that she isn't going crazy -this is her conscious, grown-up mind telling her that it simply isn't possible. However, the messages that are lodged in her subconscious mind are clearly very strong and it is time to process them away.

Normally, when we experience anxiety in the day time, we process it away at night time during REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. When the emotion is too high (trauma) then REM isn't successful. The brain may still be trying to process it at night, hence the bad thoughts, possibly bad dreams and nightmares. When the conscious mind sleeps at night, the subconscious mind can take over (it never sleeps) and if it has negative thoughts in there, these will come forward. (and somehow everything seems so much worse at night time). EMDR therapy simulates the processing that occurs during REM in a very natural way. Your daughter would be asked to follow lights, or fingers with her eyes, or perhaps have someone tap on her shoulders to stimulate a bilateral processing in the brain, whilst thinking of the past situations in her mind. It sounds like a bizarre therapy but the results can be wonderful (no guarantees as with any therapy). your daughter would be guided through eve step of the way at here own pace, with an adult present. It can be an emotional therapy as the emotions from the past a stimulated, but the anxiety is released rather than squashed down. have a look on the website for more information and a therapist local to you. try and choose one who has dealt with young people or OCD, or if you can, both together. I wish you all the very best with is. best Wishes, Sarah
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