How to Cope with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder as a Teen

Two Methods:Living with the IllnessGetting Treatment for the Illness

A lot of people have general habits that satisfy them, but they can usually live without them. Although, for people diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), their need for this satisfaction is much more intense. OCD is a real mental disorder and causes complications in a person's life.[1] This article shows teens with OCD how to be normal and still live with this prevalent disorder.

Method 1
Living with the Illness

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    Focus on the positive. Always remember you are lucky to have things that many people don't have including food, shelter above you, water, and people who care about you. Some people don't even have one of the things you have. You should be grateful about the lucky things you have in front of you. And remember, things could be worse.
    • If someone says, "Your OCD is the worst," then think about the lucky things you have that the person don't have. You can also think, "OCD can be helpful in life!" That is true. Even if obsessing over things can be unhealthy, you can also increase the pathways in your brain. Everything has a positive and the negative.
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    Tell a trusted adult about the difficulties you have. People should never bully you for being you. Asking you questions about your disorder to make you uncomfortable can be bullying too. Bullying can include emotional teasing, physical harm, exclusion/isolation, and asking you uncomfortable questions on purpose such as, "Is your mom gaining 100 pounds?"
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    Have a group of friends that will always have your back in difficult situations. Don't be friends with them if they:
    • Make rumors about you just for fun and tell you if was just a joke. Any kinds of rumors are type of bullying including rumors that were meant to be a joke or a prank.
    • Laugh when you do something embarrassing instead of helping you.
    • Put you under peer pressure. For example, if they try to make you do something you don't want to do, such as smoking or drinking underage, you should step back from the friendship.
    • Release the secrets you expected them to keep.
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    Go easy on yourself. You are normal in your own way. When you try to be someone else you are not being normal. Remember the phrase, "Nobody is perfect." Nobody is perfect! Being perfect isn't necessary. People learn from mistakes and received criticism too. This is the way of life and learning.
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    Try hard in what you enjoy. Think of the future, not the past. Future is important to you, not the past unless you are trying to learn from your mistakes. If you try hard what you enjoy, something good is going to come out of it. It doesn't matter if someone teases you for doing what you enjoy, because if you enjoy it, the happier you become. Being happy is beneficial for your health.

Method 2
Getting Treatment for the Illness

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    Take therapy. A type of therapy called cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) helps people with OCD recognize how your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors work collectively. CBT also teaches problem-solving skills, stress management, and realistic thinking and relaxation. Some therapy might also include a strategy called "exposure and response prevention," which helps you find new ways to look at obsessions and compulsions.[1]
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    Go to a support group. Support groups can be extremely helpful, especially in your teen years, they are a good place to share your experiences, learn from others, and know that you aren't the only one experiencing this mental illness. Adults are there to discuss with you, and you shouldn't be afraid. They are trying to help you.[1]
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    Live healthy. Small things like eating healthy, exercising, and making sure you have a good night's sleep can really help. Lacking sleep can cause hallucinations which can cause trauma in your mind. Eating healthy is a important part of your life. Eating healthy is a way of getting nutrients throughout your body for the cells to use. Lacking nutrients can cause not only fat, but also energy. [1]
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    Take medication. Antidepressants (such as clomipramine and fluoxetine) are the most common treatments of OCD. Benzodiazepines (anti-anxiety medications) are also another option but are not used as often because they are less effective against OCD.[1]


  • Consult your doctor before taking any medications or therapy.

Sources and Citations

  1. Mental Health Association. "Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)." Canadian Mental Health Association. Canadian Mental Health Association, 2015. Web. 14 Dec. 2015.

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Categories: Illustrations | Obsessive Compulsive Disorder