Parents often ask how to help their school-aged children or teens who struggle with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or OCD.
As you may know, OCD involves obsessions, which are unwanted thoughts that recur over and over again causing a lot of stress or anxiety and ultimately resulting in attempts to either ignore the thoughts or to make them go away. Examples include fear of disease or fear of dirt and germs. It also involves compulsions. Compulsions are recurring actions, which have the indented purpose of preventing or reducing distress, or preventing a bad situation or event from happening. Examples include checking something over and over or placing things in a particular order.
While a child is in school, their OCD might interfere with their learning. There are accommodations that can help. However, the goal of these accommodations is to remove roadblocks to learning, not necessarily to explain what OCD is or isn’t or to equip them with strategies for managing their symptoms throughout their lifetimes. Books about OCD, on the other hand, can help children to better understand their OCD, which can in turn help reduce anxiety. They can also provide strategies and approaches to coping with this challenging condition outside of school and later in life.
Here are some books that might be useful to you and your child or teen with OCD:
- Mr. Worry, A Story About OCD Kevin can’t get to sleep at night until he does many things. He checks under his bed for a light he knows isn’t there, and then, a minute later, he checks again. Kevin wants to stop, but the worry thoughts keep coming.
- What to Do when Your Brain Gets Stuck: A Kids Guide to Overcoming OCDWhat To Do When Your Brain Gets Stuck guides children and their parents through the cognitive-behavioral techniques used to treat Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Revealing OCD in a whole new light, this interactive self-help book turns kids into super-sleuths who can recognize OCD’s tricks. Engaging examples, activities, and step-by-step instructions help children master the skills needed to break free from the sticky thoughts and urges of OCD, and live happier lives. This is the complete resource for educating, motivating, and empowering children to work toward change.
- Up and Down the Worry Hill: A Children’s Book About OCD and Its TreatmentOver one million children and adolescents in the US suffer from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), a baffling illness that can be debilitating for the child in school, with friends and family. Help is now available! Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is the gold standard of treatment for OCD, and offers youngsters and their families the path to mastery over OCD. In this uniquely creative and heart-warming book, Dr. Wagner, an internationally recognized expert in the treatment of childhood OCD, uses the powerful real-life metaphor of the Worry Hill to describe OCD and its treatment clearly and simply through the eyes of a child. Children and adults will identify with Casey’s struggle with OCD, his sense of hope when he learns about treatment, his relief that neither he nor his parents are to blame, and eventually, his victory over OCD.Parents and Professionals can use this book alone or together with the companion book, What to do when your Child has Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. This is the only children’s OCD book that has a companion book for parents.
- A Thought is Just a ThoughtPowerfully illustrated, A Thought Is Just a Thought is the compelling and sympathetic story of Jenny, who suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). It describes Jenny’s visits with her mother to a doctor. He notices that Jenny is afraid to stop tapping the wall with her fingers for fear that her sister won’t come home, and that she is afraid to walk on the white squares of the kitchen’s black and white, tiled floor.
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: The Ultimate Teen Guide Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder strikes one in fifty adults. However, the disorder often remains untreated in young adults, despite advances in diagnostics. Though so many people suffer from OCD, very few seek professional help. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: The Ultimate Teen Guide helps teens understand OCD in greater detail. The guide explains different forms of OCD (checking, cleaning, scrupulosity) and related disorders (such as Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder, Tourette’s Syndrome, and Asperger’s Disorder).
- Touch and Go Joe: An Adolescent’s Experience of OCDAs many as 2 in every 100 people suffer from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and 16-year-old Joe Wells is one of them. In Touch and Go Joe, he tells the story of his battle with OCD from its insidious beginnings at age 9 and increasingly intrusive symptoms, to diagnosis at age 12. Having struggled to keep the condition a secret for years, he is now able to talk and write openly about OCD and how he battled to overcome it. This book is packed with advice and coping strategies, as well as first-hand accounts of available treatments such as cognitive behavioural therapy and medication. Written in an informal and accessible style, and including his own humorous illustrations, Touch and Go Joe gives an upbeat yet realistic look at the effect of OCD on adolescent life. This honest and amusing account will raise awareness of this all-too-common, yet frequently misdiagnosed disorder and will be of interest to anyone who has suffered from or knows someone who has suffered from OCD, including children and adolescents, teachers, psychologists, psychiatrists, mental health professionals, parents and carers.
- Kissing DoorknobsDuring her preschool years, Tara Sullivan lived in terror that something bad would happen to her mother while they were apart. In grade school, she panicked during the practice fire drills. Practice for what?, Tara asked. For the upcoming disaster that was bound to happen? Then, at the age of 11, it happened. Tara heard the phrase that changed her life: Step on a crack, break your mother’s back. Before Tara knew it, she was counting every crack in the sidewalk. Over time, Tara’s “quirks” grew and developed: arranging her meals on plates, nonstop prayer rituals, until she developed a new ritual wherin she kissed her fingers and touched doorknobs
- The Thought that Counts: A Firsthand Account of One Teenager’s Experience with OCD For the more than 2 million Americans with obsessive-compulsive disorder, the intrusive thoughts and uncontrollable behaviors can take a harsh toll, as author Jared Douglas Kant knows all too well. Diagnosed with OCD at age 11, Jared became ruled by dread of deadly germs and diseases, the unrelenting need to count and check things, and a persistent, nagging doubt that overshadowed his life
- he Art of Clean Up: A Life Made Neat and Tidy The modern world can get messy. Fortunately, Swiss artist Ursus Wehrli is a man of obsessive order, as he demonstrates with eye-catching surprise in The Art of Clean Up . Already a bestseller in Germany, this compulsive title has sold more than 100,000 copies in less than a year, and the fastidiously arranged images have garnered blog love from NPR, Brain Pickings, swissmiss, and more. Tapping into the desire for organization and the insanity of uber-order, Wehrli humorously categorizes everyday objects and situations by color, size, and shape. He arranges alphabet soup into alphabetical order, sorts the night sky by star size, and aligns sunbathers’ accoutrements-all captured in bright photographs sure to astonish even the pickiest of neat freaks.
10. Talking Back to OCD: The Program that Helps Kids and Teens Say “No Way” and Parents Say “Way to Go” No one wants to get rid of obsessive-compulsive disorder more than someone who has it. That’s why Talking Back to OCD puts kids and teens in charge. Dr. John March’s eight-step program has already helped thousands of young people show the disorder that it doesn’t call the shots–they do. This uniquely designed volume is really two books in one. Each chapter begins with a section that helps young readers zero in on specific problems and develop skills they can use to tune out obsessions and resist compulsions.
Do you know of any good books about OCD?