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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) Message Board


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Old 07-27-2007, 07:08 PM   #1
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Help! I think my daughter has OCD and possibly anorexia

We think she has OCD, and possibly anorexia. I have heard that they often go together. She is 24. I read that anxiety and stress, among other things, can bring on anorexia, and make OCD worse. She broke up recently with her boyfriend back in California, where she was living without us. We brought her out to Ohio for her to finish college, and a month later she announced she was leaving to go to Colorado with an old boyfriend. She has trouble sleeping, and talks about having anxiety. She is a real perfectionist about everything- she irons her pajamas, among many other things. The doctor I am seeing said that she has all the traits of OCD.

She is a real perfectionist about everything- she spent 3 days sterilizing her kitchen in the condo practically with a toothbrush (while not cleaning the rest of the condo), she has to always line up her underwear in a certain order by color, she has to always have her clothes look perfect and ironed, her hair a certain way, she irons her pajamas, she spent a week sanding one wall of the condo to absolute perfection, and other things. The doctor I am seeing said that she has all the traits of OCD. She is also very critical of the family, and what we say or do that isn't perfect. She said that being around the family brought back all of her anxieties- but we spent most of our time just trying to help her set up her apartment with our money. She said that we drove her away. I don't know what we did but help her. Is that normal to be so critical?

She left Ohio on very bad terms, and we are not speaking to her. We spent thousands of dollars on setting her up in an apt. here, and a month later she announced that she was running back to this old boyfriend. She has never apologized for all of the money we lost shipping her things out here, getting her a condo, fixing it up and furnishing it. So, we are pretty ticked. But, now we don't know what is going on with her weight, or her mental status 2 months later. I am worried sick. And, she is coping with two moves that have been very stressful for her, I'm sure.

I just need to understand the problem more. The thing is, that being in CO with this boyfriend is going to be very stressful. She doesn't make that much money, and that will be a stress. She is arriving there with a bare apartment, and knowing no one else. The boyfriend and she fought continually a few years ago, and he makes no money. He has no skiils, no education, and no goals for the future. When my husband was driving her out to Ohio, they stopped at his place. They right off the bat went to the local bar to hang out with his buddies. I am concerned about alcohol, also.

She wants the best of everything- everything perfect. She wants the best clothes, house, toiletries, haircuts, everything! She has been living with us or relatives until now, and this is the first time she won't have the money to spend on all of this perfection. She is going to struggle just to survive, living on a clerk in a dress shop's salary. She was going to go to nursing school, and just gave it all up. I think her problems could just get worse. She says that the old boyfriend has really changed. But, I don't think people change that much, generally.

She has just lost 20 lbs in the last few months, and is a stick at 5'9" and at 120 lbs. She won't eat fat, and she runs 4 miles a day. She is flat chested, and was never before. She has been living in CA, and we didn't know all of this was going on. The possibility of anorexia has me very concerned. This can be life threatening. The doctor I have talked to is very concerned. But, if we try to bring it up, she will just hang up the phone.

I tried to email her before she left, and told her that I thought that she had signs of OCD, but she got mad at me. She had promised one of her cats to my 14 year old son, who loved the cat, and she didn't think she could keep them. Because of what I wrote, she turned around, and took them to a shelter the next day, and didn't tell us. They were dead 2 days later, when I tracked them down. He was hysterical. What a horrible thing to do to her little brother! I wonder about her mental health after she did that.

I am a mess, and not sure what to do.

 
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Old 07-27-2007, 07:58 PM   #2
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Re: Help! I think my daughter has OCD and possibly anorexia

Have you checked into NAMI? If you can get to some meetings, that might help you a great deal. Since she's an adult, there's a limited amount you can do; at some point, she has to go through her own process and struggles.
I can't imagine how hard this is for you, how much you are concerned.

Does she have any close friends you might know well enough to talk to? She might accept things from them she wouldn't from you.

You sound like a wonderful parent.Take care of you now, maybe make it clear to her that you are there for her if she chooses to turn to you.

Peace to you.

 
Old 07-27-2007, 08:04 PM   #3
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Re: Help! I think my daughter has OCD and possibly anorexia

Dj-

From what you wrote, it sounds like your daughter has a couple of issues going on at once, and I don't think you can easily pin it down to just OCD. Many people with anxiety disorders will often experience other types of anxiety. For example, people with an eating disorder will often report symptoms of OCD. People with OCD will have trouble with eating, and so forth and so on.

I know she's your daughter and you want to help, but it sounds like in some parts of what you wrote that you're very critical of her, her boyfriend, her lifestyle, her clothes, her money, her college career, and being critical of these things is going to do one thing, and that's drive her farther away.

The best thing to do would be to have a talk on the phone, which I'm sure you're going to say that you've done, but without attacking her or putting her into a deffensive mode. Simply tell her that you're very worried about her and you want her to get some help. The best thing she can do is see what's called a cognitive behavioral specialist. A CBT will help your daughter change some of her thought patterns through behavioral modification so she can see where the OCD symptoms come from, and how she can battle them. There is a chance that your daughter will either hang up the phone, not listen, or deny that there's anything wrong.

If that is the case, I've learned from experience that people really have to want to help themselves, and no amount of pushing or urging is going to make them change unless they really want to.

I hope this helps!

 
Old 07-27-2007, 11:30 PM   #4
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Re: Help! I think my daughter has OCD and possibly anorexia

My 24 year old daughter isn't doing too well mentally and financially either. I know how helpless you feel. When there's nothing else you can do, you can pray.

 
Old 07-28-2007, 11:44 AM   #5
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Re: Help! I think my daughter has OCD and possibly anorexia

I appreciate your time, but I have not EVER spoken any criticism of my daughter to her of the boyfriend, her clothes, her lifestyle, or her money. We have only praised her for saving her money, for getting good grades in community college, and many other things. We have never said a word about the boyfriend in the years that she dated him before, even then it was evident that he had NO FUTURE, NO EDUCATION and NO AMBITION WHATSOEVER. His favorite thing is to hang out at the local bar. Sounds like a guy any mother would want their daughter to marry!

I did beg her to stay in school, I do feel that we were offering everything to her, and she threw it away her opportunity. My husband says never again will we throw away this kind of money on her. I told her that there are millions of women out there that had big regrets that they gave up their education for a man, and would love to have the opportunity that we were giving her.

We did tell her after she cost us many thousands of dollars and much effort- we shipped all of her belongings across country, paid for a condo, and started furnishing and fixing it up, that we felt we deserved an apology that she refused to give us. I feel that that was not an unreasonable request. All she did was blame us, and say some awful things about us,


SHE was the one who continually criticized us- she criticized her younger sister to the point where she wouldn't even talk to her. She also criticized her brother, and all of us, also. All we did was spend all of our time trying to help her get set up in her apartment, never saying a cross word to her.

I did tell her after the announcement, that I thought that she had OCD, which a doctor has verified. This made her very mad, and she had her cats put to sleep after I did this. These are the cats that my son loved, and she had promised to give them to him. She did this in revenge, just to be mean. We all loved her cats. My son is only 14, and was devastated. He cried for days.

I think you're talking about the wrong person who is the critical and negative one. She has some serious problems.

 
Old 07-28-2007, 12:34 PM   #6
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Re: Help! I think my daughter has OCD and possibly anorexia

Dj-

Well I guess the only thing you can do is hope that she comes to her senses and makes some much needed changes in her life. The whole cat thing bothered me as I'm sure it bothered your son. I can't imagine someone doing something like that out of revenge and if that is the case, your daughter has other issues going on aside from OCD or anorexia.

I'm sure you and your husband are doing your best to help her, but again, like I said before, help has to be wanted and your daughter has to be open to the help. If she feels that nothing is wrong, she's not going to pay attention to your advice.

Change in anyone's life requires two things. 1. Admitting you need to change. 2. Taking the steps necessary. Most people never get past #1.

I hope all works out well for you.

 
Old 07-28-2007, 01:49 PM   #7
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Re: Help! I think my daughter has OCD and possibly anorexia

Malibu,
You're right about that, she does have to admit to fault to get help. And, she's not very good at that. It's always someone else's fault. We can only hope that she will eventually know that she needs help. Or, if things fall apart in Colorado with the boyfriend and finances, we can hope and pray that she will ask us for help. In time, maybe I can suggest that we fly out and meet with a counselor, or my doctor suggests that I get suggestions from an ED group about what to do. I do appreciate that other people seem to think that she has some serious problems. It's been pretty devastating.

thanks dj

 
Old 07-28-2007, 05:19 PM   #8
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Re: Help! I think my daughter has OCD and possibly anorexia

Dj-

Just follow the recommendations of your primary care physcian. Usually the best thing for someone who has OCD is to see a cognitive behavioral therapist, but in some cases a CBT will not treat someone if they feel there are other substantial issues going on.

The hardest part is always for anyone on the outside looking in. It can be so obvious to us that we see a problem, but for the person experiencing the problem, they don't see as clearly as we might. For instance, love is blind.

You say:
Quote:
Originally Posted by djpw
Malibu,
we can hope and pray that she will ask us for help.
The only issue with her asking you for help is that once she gets back on her feet, she'll be back at it again. You said this isn't the first time things like this have happened. It's so easy for parents to be "enablers" because they think they're helping, when in reality, all they're doing is enabling their children to live the lifestyle that they do. I'm not saying abandon your daughter, but it's evident from what you've said before that this is not the first, or certainly last time you're going to have to help her.

It's so hard when you see the problem, but your children don't. It's so hard to stand by idley while they go about making mistakes that you might have made, or just know aren't the right things to do.

Again, your best bet is to speak with your pcp and take it from there.

Good luck to you.

 
Old 07-28-2007, 08:00 PM   #9
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Re: Help! I think my daughter has OCD and possibly anorexia

I've had similar issues with my now 28 year old daughter. Yes, as parents we try to help our kids through so much but it's easy to become an enabler and not even realize it. Our children can manipulate us so easily too. I hope your daughter reaches out to you and maybe your helping her can be contingent upon her getting the help she needs. Maybe family counseling too. I nearly lost my girl to an eating disorder, she was actually in the hospital on her 18th birthday and I was terrified she would check herself out and disappear. It was, and still is, a struggle for her during times of stress. It's all about control. Hang in there.

 
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