Friday, January 28, 2011


My daughter has developed some new compulsions. She started this thing with her hands a few weeks ago. She curls her hands into fists with her thumb tucked in. Then she puts her thumbs on the outside of her fingers. Then inside, the outside. She does it continuously. When I asked her about it, she said, "One, two, three, four is one, one to three, four is two." I realized she is making 4 movements then is counting that as ONE, then four more moments counts as TWO, etc. I asked her how much she is counting to. She said, "100, always 100!"

I must admit, it made me sad. It freaked me out. I saw the crazy. I saw her on TV in years on a "Obsessed!" trying to work through her OCD. I will also admit it made my OCD amp up like crazy. Since my primary OCD manifestation is ruminations, or worry, I began to worry about what people will think, how she will cope, if she will ever find a husband, will she be the crazy cat lady down the street, will she become a hoarder . . . see how bad it is? It sounds silly, but the progression is so seamless in my head it just takes on a life of it's own. I can laugh about it, but it still worries me.

When I see her doing it, I try to get her interested in something else. I will ask her to hold my hand, or give me a hug, or set the table for dinner. Usually that works. After a while she said, "You just want me to stop fidgeting." I agreed and she laughed.

Now she is doing something weird with her mouth. I think she is couting, but she is clacking her teeth together. She is making this crazy movement with her mouth. It is maddening. I am being full-out with this and simply telling her to stop. She usually does, but sometimes she replies, "I can't!".

My OCD immediately returns to crazy and then I stat freaking about how I caused the mouth thing to happen by stopping her from the hand fidgeting. Then I admonish myself for not allowing her to do that since it was less noticeable that the facial thing.

Do you see how maddening it all is? I can only imagine what this will all be like when she is a teenager!


  1. OCD can usually be controlled with medication and behavioral therapy. If you haven't looked in to it, you might want to. Social stigmas stick fast at this age. {{{{{{Hugs}}}}}}

  2. She is on medication, and when we up it to the next dose, she gets very aggressive. I am trying to find a balance. I have real therapy issues and I really need to get over that. Thanks for the support! :)

  3. I think our little one has some tendencies toward what might become OCD and I think about it a lot. (My own OCD diagnosis cleared up once I stopped being anorexic. I'm not implying that's an issue here, but keep it in the back of your mind if you don't already as your girlie grows older. And I'm not saying that to give you one more thing to worry about, I swear!)

    I have two brothers with Tourette's syndrome and I understand your frustration and embarrassment, which I'm sure is exacerbated by your own OCD stuff as it was with mine when I was young.

    Can you figure out why she "can't" stop? Is this a compulsion that keeps her safe, keeps the world from falling apart? Is it physically painful not to give in and make the clacking noise? Maybe if you can help her talk about it and understand how it feels, you can help her divert it into something else or eventually master it. I know of people who've overcome OCD compulsions by compulsively not doing them. Alison Bechdel's masterful Fun Home has a great example of this. I'm not sure if it's necessarily healthy, but it can be effective.