I recently had the pleasure of connecting with Chris Baier, one of the filmmakers for UNSTUCK: An OCD Kids Movie, where I got to watch this incredible documentary about childhood OCD. The surprise? The KIDS are the ones teaching us about it! Here’s what the documentary is all about, according to their website:
“UNSTUCK documents OCD strictly through the eyes of young people. The short documentary avoids sensationalizing compulsions and obsessions, and instead reveals the complexity of a disorder that affects the brain and behavior. As these six resilient kids and teens roadmap their process of recovery, the film inspires viewers to believe it is possible to fight their worst fears and beat back OCD.” (ocdkidsmovie.com)
I started watching the documentary and I was completely blown away. At one point, I even got chills. The kids did such a good job giving us a glimpse of what it’s like inside their minds. I was so inspired and so impressed by the bravery and resiliency that these children portrayed.
UNSTUCK is a game-changer for anyone who is or has been affected by childhood OCD. Actually, it’s a game-changer for the general public. The filmmakers did an incredible job of including not only the kids’ perspective, but also how their OCD affected their families and their everyday activities, including school.
Another thing I was super grateful for was the fact that this documentary gave us a glimpse of the many different forms that OCD can take. The kids’ fears ranged from contamination fears and perfectionism all the way to a fear of being responsible for potentially bringing harm to someone. The reality is that OCD is OCD, no matter what the content is, and even kids can get these scary, unwanted thoughts.
The documentary portrayed the various forms of compulsions and discussed how the family members of these kids became a part of their rituals. The kids talked about the importance of getting the proper treatment, Exposure with Response Prevention (ERP), and involving family members in this treatment. They shared what it looks like to expose their different fears and even gave specific examples of exposures they have done.
I also absolutely loved that they included the siblings in the documentaries, because the reality is that they, too are affected by this disorder (my sister can personally attest to this!!) When I was younger, I remember going through a season with my OCD where I was afraid to sleep alone. I remember sleeping in my sister’s room and asking her to hold my hand as I fell asleep.
There was a part of the documentary where Charlotte, Vanessa’s sister, was asked to share something that’s been challenging about her sister’s OCD. Charlotte replied with, “The hardest part was when you were afraid of….me”. *CHILLS. TEARY EYED. ALL THE FEELS.
I think the most emotional part of watching this documentary was how much these kids reminded me of myself when I was a kid struggling with OCD. Hearing how they described how OCD sounds in their minds sounded so familiar. We hear a lot of adults talking about OCD and what it’s like for them, but getting a child’s perspective really hit home for me. I felt connected to these kids in a powerful way. And, to be honest, I REALLY wish a documentary like this would have been available 15 years ago.
OCD is scary enough for adults, imagine how much scarier it is for children who have no idea what’s going on with their brains. It’s so important that other kids know that they are not alone, and this documentary makes this a reality for kids worldwide. Because of the incredible bravery and resiliency that these six kids have shown, thousands of other kids around the world will now know that they are not alone and that there is hope for getting better.