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New Member, and Question on Hoarding

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Hello All,


I am pleased to find this support group, as our journey with OCD is just

beginning. By way of introduction, my 8 year old daughter began seeing a

therapist six months ago for severe anxiety over bees, blood, and dying...as the

full extent of her symptoms have revealed themselves to us, we have finally

reached the diagnosis of OCD.


She struggles with many symptoms: obsessive fears, hair pulling, counting,

praying of increasing frequency before eating anything, " balancing " movements of

her arms, legs, even blinking, and hoarding to name a few of the more obvious.

Thankfully she has become enlightened to her own internal dilemas, and actually

told us a week ago about the compulsive " balancing " she does all day long (she

was not just " stalling " on the patio as we were trying to leave the house; she

was stepping down with one foot, then had to step down with the other foot, back

and forth, back and forth, trying to achieve balance so " nothing bad would

happen to her " as we waited for her to finally come down). We are thankful that

we have finally identified her disorder with her help and that of our therapist,

and now we begin the process of learning to manage it.


The hoarding bits of trash and " treasures " she calls them began when she was

about 4 years old. It has progressed to where she doesn't want to throw out

anything she feels has any importance, which can be anything from toys from

years ago to bits of trash she finds on the floor at the shoe store. It is all

important in her mind.


My question is this, for those of you who have children who have been through

this particular symptom, how do I teach her to make the decision to let go of

things with less importance, so she has room in her life (and her play room!)

for those toys and treasures that she plays with most often? We have snuck

things out in the past, and she doesn't become too anxious when I tell her

something is gone, but I want to teach her to make these decisions so she

doesn't remain a hoarder or watch it get worse as she grows up.


Any suggestions on constructive ways to reduce the piles, while addressing her

anxiety and inability to decide the relative importance of things around her?

She does not have the compulsion to stay neat and organized, so the clutter does

not seem to affect her...yet when she wants to find something, we all have to go

on extensive hunts to unbury the valued object. I can't help but wonder if we

could reduce the piles, and organize the remainder, then perhaps it will lessen

her overall anxiety?


Any help would be much appreciated, and as I said I am so thankful to have found

you all.

Dobbs, mother of

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