Managing Mr. BossyLike the superheroes in her favorite movies, Chloe was battling a monster. However, her monster was a bit different than the monsters in the movies. Chloe called him the worry monster. The worry monster's opinions were mixed up in her thoughts, telling her what to do and causing her to worry about her choices. The more Chloe thought about the worry monster's opinions, the more often his opinions popped up, and the louder they got in her head. Chloe felt like she was losing the battle against the worry monster. He was impacting her ability to focus in school. Even doing daily routines became more difficult! Chloe wanted to tell her parents about the worry monster, but she wasn't sure how to tell them. She didn't know anyone else who battled a worry monster.By being brave and finally sharing that she was battling a worry monster with adults in her life, Chloe discovered that other kids battled worry monsters too. After meeting with a psychologist, Chloe learned that based on what her worry monster worried about, she had something called obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD). Along with the help of her superhero sidekicks, including her parents and therapist, Chloe learned strategies to effectively battle her worry monster, named Mr. Bossy, in a form of therapy called exposure and response prevention (ERP) therapy. Chloe approached the situations that caused her to worry. These were called exposures. During these exposures, she might hear Mr. Bossy's opinions, but she no longer changed her behaviors based on them.Over time, Mr. Bossy got less and less opinionated and a bit quieter in her head. She learned that Mr. Bossy's opinions were just that, opinions, not facts, and started to become more comfortable with uncertainty.
-- Hillary Ammon, Psy.D.