"A little bit OCD"
When I knew my boy was haunted by
this demon in his ear
Not knowing how to help him,
My knowledge turned to fear.
I'll keep this to myself I thought,
He didn't want to be
the boy that was a weirdo,
Just 'That kid with OCD .'
But people came to notice
little signs that served to tell.
They all became an expert
"I've got OCD as well!"
"I always put my books in line
so neatly on the shelf.
My husband says that I'm
a little bit OCD myself!"
"Take away his Xbox
if he keeps on being late.
Ground him for a week and he'll soon
Realise his mistake."
"Tell him to snap out of it.
You have to make him see.
Nip it in the bud,
we're all a wee bit OCD."My boy can not eat or sleep
or concentrate at school.
A little bit OCD maybe
But at least he's not a fool!
Speaking for myself as a parent of a teen with OCD, I think that the worst thing is the fear of what lies in store for him.
I imagine a string of failed relationships and lost jobs, and at best a lonely old age.
When I realised the severity of John’s OCD I desperately researched the condition. Hours of trawling the web and thumbing through OCD charity magazines did nothing to abate my fears. I read inspirational and heart rending stories of noble and broken parents swimming, walking or climbing to raise money in memory of their child lost to OCD. I encountered more and more horror stories of suicide, drug addiction and alcoholism/liver damage cutting short the lives of young adults as they struggled and failed to survive their OCD. I cannot describe the hollow feeling as the realization hit me that if we did not find help and fast,the prognosis could be fatal.
I suspect that People living with OCD ,as well as their
loved ones, feel like they are the only ones going
through this. I know this to be true for me. Logic
tells me that other people must have OCD, but I have
never knowingly met any of them.
I suspect this is largely due to the stigma attached to
this 'mental illness'. It is not the kind of thing one
brags about. I cannot discuss my worries or problems
with anyone else who might remotely understand.
How much more poignant must this be for John? How alone
must he feel? If no one understands the worries and
everyday practical problems of the parent of a child
with OCD, how much less does anyone know about what it
is like to be that child?
Since I realised that OCD was a part of our family I
have researched it carefully . Know thine enemy! But
even now I acknowledge that I have no idea what is
going on in Johns head most of the time. I don't know
why he has his compulsions, I don't always know what
he is doing and I don't know why or when they will
change and evolve. He does not like to discuss it with
the family and rarely gives us an insight into his
world. He tells me that it is with him all the time
and the last thing he wants to do is talk about it
as he is trying to escape it. I cannot truly comprehend
what it is like to be him .I try to learn a little more
each day but I can only imagine his torment.
Another factor that isolates the OCD sufferer is its
uniqueness. No two sets of symptoms are exactly the
same. One person might have obsession with cleanliness,
another might be an untidy person obsessed with symetry.
One might constantly check doors are locked, another
be condemned to complete meaningless and complex
mental rituals, unseen by the observer. (And pure O
is even more complex!)
The family might not recognise what they have as OCD
because it does not fit the stereotype of what society
perceives it to be. How can he have OCD when his
bookshelf is a mess?