As a child, I was gregarious, outgoing, and happy-go-lucky. Then something went horribly askew at about age 12. I did not know why I was unable to focus when I had been the best reader in school. I had been talkative, but I kept to myself, remained silent, and let bullies pick on me. I hadn't the slightest idea what was going on with my body and mind. Eighth-grade was probably my worst year because I was taunted, harassed, and bullied.
Two years ago I wondered if the horrible feeling, the gnawing in my stomach would ever leave. Inside my freshman dorm room, I lived in my own mind, fixated on my thoughts and tormented by irrational messages and faulty fears.
When a student has OCD, the patterns of problems of the disorder may become more obvious and predictable. It’s unrealistic to expect disciplinary action to change what the student is unable to change, and it may actually create more stress for the already distressed student and exacerbate symptoms.
Students with OCD may be at greater risk for bullying.
Many bullying episodes are verbal, brief, and frequently take place during times with little teacher supervision. As a result, students may believe that teachers don’t care or can’t do anything about it. School personnel who allow bullying, teasing, and more aggressive pushing and hitting do damage to the self-esteem of a victimized student who has OCD.