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I’ve had OCD for as long as I can remember, and my mom says even in preschool she knew I had it because I would get up on school days very early and walk around for hours checking to see if I had everything ready. I have to take a lot of showers. I’m not as afraid of germs as some people with OCD are. The showers just help me when I feel like something bad is going to happen. I used to be bad with food and couldn’t eat it if anyone but my mom touched it but I’m better with that now.

All the meds I’m on are for bipolar. Currently I’m on lamictal and risperdal. My mom is more worried about that and she helps me try to deal with the OCD.

I don’t tell my friends about it, but if they did find out, what I’d want them to know is that I’m not crazy. I know that touching doorways before I walk in or out of them in a particular pattern doesn’t stop bad things from happening, but I feel very scared if I don’t do it anyway. When I try not to do the things I have to do, the feeling gets so bad I can’t sleep.

The best thing you can do for the kid in your class is don’t ever force him to stop doing the things he needs to do because it’s a horrible feeling when you can’t and it just makes everything worse. I guess you just have to try to understand him, like when my mom just looks at me and smiles when I touch the doorways. I feel better having done it and I like that she just lets me when I can’t help it.