There is no shortage of talk around parenthood, however there are many challenges where the effects are not obvious, and therefore are often missed out from broader conversations about how families should be supported.

The impact of mental illnesses such as Obsessive Compulsive Order (OCD) within children is often overlooked and misunderstood. Research suggests that OCD affects as much as 1.2% of the UK population, and symptoms often begin to show themselves in childhood and adolescence. Hoping to both demystify the effects of OCD on families and equip them with a way to help children combat obsessive thoughts, author Julie Derrick has just launched her new children’s book Trixie the Treat Monster.

Following on from Hank the Hungry Monster, Trixie the Treat Monster is the second book in Julie’s Mind Monsters series and explores how distraction methods can be a powerful tool to help children fight intrusive thoughts.

Julie is dedicated to raising awareness about OCD, having experienced its impact within her only family when her daughter developed the condition in her early teens. 50% of all proceeds made from the book will be donated to the Community Intensive Therapy Team (CITT).

Trixie the Treat Monster tells the story of Leo who is about to take a penalty shot but can’t bring himself to kick the ball without first completing the counting ritual that power-hungry monster Hank tells him he needs to do.  Wanting to help Leo break free of this behaviour, Trixie the Treat Monster plays Hank’s own game against him and uses treats to encourage Leo to try things without counting first. At the same time, Leo’s best friend Emily helps him to open up and talk about his inner fears.

Unlike many books which address OCD within a workbook or therapy-based format, Trixie the Treat Monster is a fun story that children and parents can enjoy and engage with together. Julie constructs the game between the monsters to show standing up to OCD in a friendly and relatable way, allowing just enough attention to be given to OCD behaviours to create a point of learning without reducing the appeal of the story.

Writing as an ordinary parent who has seen the effects of OCD first-hand, Julie introduces subtle techniques that families can use to detect and productively combat OCD behaviours, helping them ‘starve’ obsessions rather than ‘feeding’ them with constant reassurance or pandering.

Trixie the Treat Monster is the perfect read for any family or teacher wanting to understand the effects of OCD, learn how to spot and treat obsessions and start a productive conversation around the condition.

Trixie the Treat Monster launched on 25th August and is available to buy from Amazon.