How Can I Tell My Mom I Have OCD?

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Q. I think I have OCD, an anxiety disorder (panic and social): I have most of the symptoms for social anxiety, panic disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorders. Nothing happened in my life that could have caused any of this, well there is nothing I would consider to be responsible for any of this. I’m not sure what to do. I am afraid to tell my mom for some reason, but my school counselor says it could get serious and become disabling. What should I do? How do I go about the situation?

A. Your school counselor is correct. Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and anxiety disorder can be very serious and disabling disorders if they are not treated. Please heed her warning.

Your smartest next move is to tell your mother even though you are afraid to tell her. Realize that suffering from these symptoms is not something that should get you into trouble. You did not cause these symptoms or bring them on yourself. It is not your fault that you are experiencing OCD and anxiety. These experiences are happening to you and are not caused by you. For these reasons, there is a very slim likelihood that your mother will react with anger when you tell her what you have been experiencing. She will probably be concerned and want to do her best to help you. But she cannot help you if she does not know what’s wrong. She needs to know.

If you feel too frightened to tell your mother, or you need more advice on how to handle this situation, go back to your school counselor. Ask her how to approach your mother regarding this matter or ask her to talk to your mother on your behalf. Either way, it is important that you disclose this information to someone who can help you get into treatment. Getting help now can prevent the OCD and anxiety from gaining strength and becoming unmanageable.

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 12 May 2008

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2008). How Can I Tell My Mom I Have OCD?. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 25, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2008/05/12/how-can-i-tell-my-mom-i-have-ocd/

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