In a recent Dear Abby column, a reader writes:
I’m 13 and I’m afraid I may have OCD. I want to find out, but what’s standing in my way is that sometimes my parents think I make stuff up to get attention.
While Abby’s advice for the reader to just overcome his or her fears and talk to the parents wasn’t wrong, it also wasn’t very complete. Unfortunately, sometimes talking to your parents isn’t enough to get the help you need.
So, what can you do? We recently asked Dr. Fred Penzel what advice he could offer to teens who think they have OCD, but whose parents aren’t convinced. Dr. Penzel writes:
While I don’t believe that this happens in every home, I have a hunch that situations like this happen a lot more than we would like them to. Someone once said, “The only thing worse than having OCD is having OCD alone… No one wants to think that his or her child has a problem, much less a psychological one… Some parents find it so unthinkable that they resort to denial, figuring that if they act like they don’t see it, it doesn’t exist.
Read Dr. Penzel’s full article in your copy of the Winter 2014/2015 issue of the OCD Newsletter or online here.