I want to thank Editor Andrea Marchiano from Trigger Publishing for sending me The Compulsion Cloud to review. Mental Health books written for children teach by writing at a level they understand and will help you start a conversation on the subject.
Holly’s story starts with a cloud – and it’s not a fluffy, white one you’d see on a sunny day. Instead, it’s a scary, dark cloud that looms over her and makes anxiety-provoking demands, which, if disobeyed, could cause bad things to happen to her loved ones. but fortunately for Holly, she is seeing a therapist who has a plan to help her get rid of this bullying cloud, once and for all.
You may have guessed that Holly’s cloud is a manifestation of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and her therapist aims to treat it with Exposure and Response Prevention Therapy (ERP). These terms can be confusing for children having their first OCD symptoms, so The Compulsion Cloud – written by social worker Averi Ridge Castaneda – introduces both concepts in a kid-friendly manner. Ultimately, this story provides a blueprint for recovery, which shows young readers that standing up to their compulsion clouds will bring them back to the light.
Holly is a young girl who is experiencing obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) that comes over her in the form of a dark cloud. She’s exhausted and anxious, her mind is always going. She’s afraid if she doesn’t do what the cloud tells her to do her family may get hurt.
Holly met with Anna a therapist to help her understand the disorder and how to break the chains that bind her. Anna makes Holly feel comfortable enough to share her story. She explains all the tasks the cloud has her do and how it makes her feel. Like tap her fingers three times, wash her hands three times and the list of commands goes on.
Anna introduces her to Exposure and Response Prevention Therapy which is a proven therapy for OCD. She tells Holly to do the opposite of what the cloud tells her to do in order to take control back. It takes baby steps but with time the cloud would go away for good. She sent Holly home with some tools to help her.
Holly feels conflicted once home when the cloud arrives but she remembers the tools that Anna introduced her to. With practice comes confidence and Holly went on to live a full life with friends and family.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is widespread and requires treatment to break its hold. I would recommend this to parents and grandparents so they can better understand what is happening and the importance of treatment. Another reason it’s good for grandparents to read is they may have a shake-it-off philosophy. The Compulsion Cloud shares real-life experiences that all can learn from.
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