Friday, January 18, 2008

OCD in Child? Letter to Editor

NOTE: This does not include the full 2-page e-mail that was originally sent to me. I condensed it.

Dear Kristie,

Thank you for getting back to me promptly about the OCD. We miss your school. Your house was such fun and loving place for kids to learn and explore. Sally's problems is only on washing hands so far. Sometimes, she is fussy over the clothes, however I'm able to talk her out of it. She washes her hands
during and after her shower....(more details here)...I do not think she needs professional treatment at this time but I do want to help her with this problem. She is only 5 years-old. Thank you for your help!

Nel (name changed for privacy)

Dear Nel,

Without a full evaluation I can't really help in any extensive way but I can offer my advice and hopefully point you in the right directions.

I agree that she does not need any treatment at this time, just gentle guidance and awareness of what is going on. Her case does not severe enough to become too concerned about at this point.

Sometimes when a child or an adult start to exhibit OCD behavior it is a symptom of them seeking more control in their lives. Every person in the world feels they don't have enough control in our lives and we all seek to balance that by doing SOMETHING about it. Depending on the child's temperament they may throw temper tantrums, start washing their hands a lot, start bossing their friends around, insist on staying home more often, seems Joshua has chosen the "washing his hands" option. He is most likely of the Melancholic or "Metal" type of temperament.

To manage his behavior it might help to give him more feeling of control in his life. Especially, children of the melancholic type, seek control and they are natural leaders. Anything you can offer him would help. Let him choose what he wears to school, what he has for lunch (within reason of course!). And even when you don't want to let him choose you can "offer him choices" instead of telling him what to do. So, for instance, you can ask him "Do you want to wear the green, red or white shirt today?"

You can also give him some things to "be in charge of". Perhaps he can "be in charge" of choosing the book you read to his brother at night. Or "in charge of" setting the plates on the table. The more responsibilities he has the happier he will be because people of the melancholic type thrive on completing tasks and they feel a lot of fulfillment when a task is completed.

I hope this helps.

If you would like a full consultation or temperament evaluation for him you can visit: Typology & Temperament Consulting

(The links for consulting are at the top of that page)

Blessings & Health,
Kristie Karima Burns, MH, ND

No comments: