October 11, 2013 - submitted by Eli, Sweden

Q. TEAM ORACLE QUESTION #139
I'm a teenager, and for a very long time now, I have suspected that I've got OCD, obsessive compulsive disorder. I do a lot of things that I don't understand, have my own explanations for, and sometimes I do it by habit. When I do something differently or do a mistake, no matter how small it might be, it feels wrong in a way that sort of aches, and sometimes I get an anxiety attack. There are times when I feel really down, and on some occasions, it has caused me to shut down and go almost emotionally numb.
But my main issue is not really knowing. I've done a lot of research, but making a diagnose yourself only gets you so far. I'm also very worried that I'm not really sick, but I'm just telling myself that I am. I need to know. I can't possibly tell my parents because I know they can't handle it.
I've been doing this and even more things since I was a kid, so if they would have done something they would have done it ages ago.
I don't know what to do. How I feel I can handle. The music and animals surrounding me help me snap out of things, but what kills me is not knowing.
Can you please help me?


The Oracle replies:

Don't worry, Eli. There is help out there for you. I'm not going to talk about OCD too much but rather the way to handle your current situation.
First, if the not knowing is killing you, find out! Like you say, self-diagnosis is not a great idea even though I agree, you do show the signs of having OCD. Even if you don't, you have anxiety issues to address so it can't hurt finding out either way so book a doctor appointment at your earliest convenience.
Second, you do not & cannot know that your parents can't handle it. You must talk to them. Just because they haven't done anything about it so far doesn't mean they haven't noticed or they won't be willing to help support you through it.
OCD is often considered nothing more than a quirk or idiosyncrasy. It can be debilitating in some cases and shouldn't be ignored.
It may help you to find and join a group of people going through the same. In some cases I believe OCD is learned behaviour. The good news is behaviour can be relearned. With therapeutic help, you can manage it and hopefully get to a position where you are free from the disorder. You could have specific hypnotherapy if you're in a position to. It could be really beneficial to you.
My advice for now though is to tell your folks and see a doctor / health care professional.
Hopefully you will also find this link of use.
Over to you.

The first thing you need to understand is that in no way at all are you alone in this. I can tell you that a lot of people suffer from OCD, myself being one of them. I too am a teenager, and I too was lost – I didn’t know what to do. It’s important to know that you can get help for it - there are trained professionals who work with people who suffer from OCD every day, and they WILL help. I know it seems really tough explaining to people you have OCD, because you think they won’t understand, and I’m going to tell you the truth – some won’t. But those who love you and care for you the most will, and they will help you. I understand it could take you months, even years upon years to bring yourself to tell someone because there is always that thought niggling away at you – “This is stupid. This is foolish. Why can’t I just stop? People won’t understand.” But when you do finally get help for it, and I urge you to, I guarantee you won’t regret it. In the meantime Eli, keep doing things that calm you. Keep listening to music and doing other things that make you feel relaxed. It helps. Goodbye, and good luck. Jayden.

Everyone has OCD tendencies, like needing keeping crayons in rainbow order, but this does not mean that they have OCD. Remember that you can't really diagnose yourself. BUT if you are doing "things" such as repeatedly doing the same task over and over, or because you fear something bad will happen, then you should definitely seek the help of a professional psychologist. In general it seems that this is causing you great anxiety and it might be worth talking to a teacher at school if you don't think that your parents will understand, or can handle it. Talking to a health professional would be preferable seeing as they could keep it confidential. Emily.

First of all I would like to praise you for reaching out to talk about your feelings! That is the hardest part and it takes courage. However, it is you are the biggest key in finding the solution to your problems. You need to talk to someone. Try seeing your regular Doctor and explain what is going on and he can provide you with a list of places where you can go to talk to someone. They will be able to ask questions, do assessments to determine what the root of your feelings is. I do want to tell you that a lot of people feel this way and it is not your fault. It is a chemical imbalance in the brain that you have no control over. If not knowing is what is really bothering you….give yourself a gift and make an appointment. Trust me, it is worth it. Also, if music and animals make your feel better try to give yourself time each day to spend time listening to music and seeing animals. Both are very therapeutic. It is awesome that you have found things to calm you down, these are called coping skills. Try to find more things to add to your bag of tricks. This also tells me that you are ready to solve your problems. You know what you’re are feeling is not right, so go with your gut and make that appointment. Marcia.

Yours is a very important issue, because it’s about health. I think that psychological diseases are like the others, they can make you feel very sick, and nobody should feel ashamed of it. The only difference that I find is that you can’t tell exactly when it hurts, so it’s easier to understand that you have a cold than a psychological disorder.
For this reason, I heartily recommend you to go to a psychologist that is the only person that can really help you. He can do a serious diagnose and tell you what to do to feel better. Maybe you have got OCB, maybe it’s just your personality, but in both cases you feel bad and you are worried about it, so you have to do something.
I think also you should talk with your parents. Why you think they can’t handle it? They love you and certainly they want you to feel fine, so they can understand your problem. If you don’t feel ready to talk with them, find a good friend that support you and ask your psychologist to help you tell them what it’s happening.
Yours truly, Federica.

A self diagnose doesn’t make sense in this case, there are tests for it and to find out if there is a sickness at all. Except of the anxiety attack it sounds quite normally like a description of going through a tough puberty. What do your friends think about it? Have you ever asked one? Is there a teacher at your school to ask? Find an address for professional help. You can only know when someone tells you, but even then: doctors can be wrong, so don’t despair of any answer you could get. However two or more opinions are better than only one. Besides I think you’ve found a very good remedy with your animals and the music, don’t forget the rest though. Don’t worry. L.Q.

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