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living with OCD and... self harm.


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I'm 15 and I recently got diagnosed with OCD. It takes up a lot of my time and my friends have asked why I do strange things at school, like touch doorframes etc. And I self harm. I know I need professional help, but my parents don't know, and I'm scared they will find out. Anyone know what I should do?

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Honestly, your best bet (without my knowing anything about your relationship with your parents) is to tell your parents. If they are decent and care about you, they will help you find some help so that you can feel better. Is there any particular reason why you don't want to tell them? I know it can be very embarrassing/awkward to talk about these things, but unfortunately since you are 15, it's going to be hard for you to do anything on your own.

If you absolutely cannot talk to your parents, you might try another trusted adult, such as a guidance counselor or teacher at school. Sometimes there are ways for you to get help without your parents' knowing.

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It's good that you have a friend - it can help to have just one other person to talk to.

Are there any other adults you could trust with this who might be able to figure out how to help you?

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That's good that you have a helpful friend. Have you ever tried any self-help books? I don't have OCD so I wouldn't know which to recommend, but I have used them at times when I didn't have access to professional treatment.

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Depending on what state you live in (if you live in the US), you may be old enough to access mental health treatment without needing your parents' permission.

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Lee Baer has written some good books about OCD, specifically "Getting Control: Overcoming Your Obsessions and Compulsions" and "Imp of the Mind: Exploring the Silent Epidemic of Obsessive Bad Thoughts." Needless to say, reading is great for getting a better understanding of OCD, but is definitely not a substitute for seeking professional help if you can.

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I think you have to weigh up how much misery you will be in with untreated OCD and how much misery you will be in if you have to have professionals help guide you through your parents direction.

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I think my worry is that a friend is not a professional who can make any difference to what you are going through. I hid my mental health issues as a teenager, and then had a massive breakdown aged 20 that I am still recovering from at 28. I wish I had got help, if not from my parents, then from other people who could help me.

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