My teenage daughter has a diagnosis of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder because of her intense fear of germs. She is really worried about getting sick. She washes her hands until they bleed. She misses a lot of school, especially in the winter, because she is afraid of the other kids who come to school sick. It has really been disruptive in our lives. After going to a few therapists, we finally found a place that specializes in OCD. They are doing something called “exposure therapy” for her germ phobia. I am a little confused about some of the things that we have to do. For example, I can no longer give her hand sanitizer to take to school or even offer it to her if we are out to dinner, which doesn't make sense to me because I don't want her to get sick either. Have you heard of this?
Talking to teenagers can be a tricky proposition at times; this is primarily because we adults have an agenda—we want them to listen to us and take our advice. Of course this is well-intended, but most teens I know (and from my years as a social worker in a high school, I know quite a […]