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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) Message Board


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Old 07-07-2008, 06:16 PM   #1
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parents of son recently diagnosed with ocd.need some support please!

hi there,
Our 14 yr old son has recently been diagnosed with ocd and is currently waiting for his appointment with the mood and anxiety clinic now. We have noticed more and more odd behaviour from him since xmas and thought it would be good to get the ball rolling with doctors etc and i have made tons of phone calls.
We also have another older son who had some issues with ocd when he was younger but seems to be dealing with it better now. Our younger son seems to have it more severe and believe me, it has been unbelievable how much this has changed our family.. he started with his clothes, no tags on it allowed. then he started with throwing away used underwear and socks. i kept buying new ones and the old ones kept disappearing. Then he stopped wearing clothes upstairs . He would wrap himself up in a sheet. Then he begged to stay upstairs during the weekend and wouldnt go downstairs until sunday night so he could have a shower and then put on his good clothes. School was a free zone and he had no problem with that unless he got his good clothes "tainted" and that meant he would need new clothes in order to go to school. Then he stopped coming upstairs and said it was our house that was contaminated and i just didnt understand. when he was in downstairs mode he refused to set foot past the top step and went in and out of the back door and ate in the garage or in his room only. He begged for money for food and drinks as he just could not come upstairs into the kitchen he said. I bought him lots of juice/water bottles to stock up his room and that seemed ok but then our van became an issue too and he wouldnt take things that were even in the van at any point. It was very stressful on all of us. He had 2 different personalities it seemed that when he was in downstairs mode he would go outside and only talk when we were out on a walk. other than that he wouldnt let us go too close to him and always looked nervous and anxious. Then when he came upstairs on the weekend he looked relaxed and in a good mood and very talkative but he just couldnt wear clothes. He even told me one time it felt like the germs were seeping through his clothes thats why he couldnt wear them and it gave him too much anxiety. so he sits with a towel or sheet wrapped around him. He wont go outside if he is in upstairs mode either. So we just recently moved and he promised it would all go away. yeah right! lol. His room is off limits when he is out and about in the house. he wont set foot in there and cant cross over in the same day without showering at least 4 times. He has been out in the living room for the last 4 days and sleeps behind the living room chair on the floor and will beg to do this and not sleep in the office or anywhere else . He has his other clothes that he will change at least 3 times a day and then just end up wearing nothing. He wont go outside now that he is out and about in the house.
It has been unreal for our family. Our older son is so worried about him. When he is in his room and dressed in his good "uncontaminated " clothes and walks down the hall way he is always measuring the distance and takes these little steps and it takes him a good 5 minutes just to get out the front door and he looks so nervous and scared, it breaks my heart. My husband doesnt have as much patience as i do. we have had many arguments over my leniance and it has caused a lot of grief in our family. Our son wont attend other family gatherings either or when we go to our friends house for barbques he refuses to go. He came once to our friends at xmas but he didnt sit down once as he wont sit on other peoples furniture. He goes through at least 6 sheets a day and in our old house at least 4 towels a day. He wouldnt even close the shower door and our floor was always wet . It was very tiring having to come home to all this laundry as well. I have tried to talk to him over and over and sometimes he is ok with our discussions and sometimes he just says, oh dont worry you are over reacting mom. Some days i get so stressed and upset as i just cant take it away from him. He just spends so much time with all of his rituals that it holds him back from doing things with his friends and with us his family.
Please post back if you are parents or friends of someone with ocd so we can help support each other. it would mean a lot and thank you...

 
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Old 07-08-2008, 08:50 PM   #2
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Re: parents of son recently diagnosed with ocd.need some support please!

revb,
You truly have a full plate.
We have been through our son's symptoms for @14 years. He missed the 2nd semester of 9th grade because he just couldn't face school. The symptoms have ebbed and flowed and he's just gone through a bad bout of depression because of his ocd. He's going to be going through a 3 week intensive program soon, which I don't know too much about yet. Thankfully he's on meds right now which even though he doesn't like the side effects-he likes the ocd less. The meds DO work. Is your son taking anything?
Hopefully your husband will learn some patience. He has to realize that your son can't help himself with the way he feels. It's a medical problem-an invisible disability.
My son has said that he wishes he had an illness that he could talk feely about but he's very closed mouth about it to his friends-it is a physical illness that has mental complications. An inbalance in brain chemicals. Do you have books about it? Does he realize that his behavior is different?
Let me know how it goes. Hang in there.

 
Old 07-10-2008, 02:09 PM   #3
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Re: parents of son recently diagnosed with ocd.need some support please!

I'm sorry you and your son are going through such a tough time right now. My 12 year old son was officially diagnosed with OCD 10 months ago, but his was mainly extreme obsessions, and less of the physical compulsions. He has successfully been taking Zoloft for 10 months and the "bad" obsessions are practically gone, or at least managable for him. He still has some obsessions that he says he likes (sports & statistics) which drive us crazy, but he is happy. His compulsion is manipulating a favourite object and using it to "act out" his obsession in his head. For example, if he's obsessing about a basketball game, the object is moving around and he is making weird faces and noises, and he is "tuned out" but not completely. It's really hard to explain. If he doesn't have his special object, he will use whatever he can. Like holding a zipper pull on his jacket or an eraser in his desk, etc. He keeps insisting that he likes doing this, but we look at him and think about how much time is wasted. We are going back to his doctor in 2 weeks to renew his RX and I think I'll ask about upping his dosage, now that he is 12. He has no side effects from the the Zoloft, other than a zapping headache if he forgets to take his pills the night before. (An excellent reminder BTW!)

My son was seeing a psychologist who was able to diagnose the OCD quite easily as my son is very good at explaining himself and how his mind was driving him nuts. I guessed he had OCD about 5 years ago, but it was never officially diagnosed or treated until last October. His therapist and doctor were happy with the results of the meds and he no longer requires therapy (unless he wishes to start again/things change, etc.)

Back to your son...is he willing to see a psychologist? It sounds like his OCD is REALLY affecting his day-to-day living, and I would hope that medication could help him. My son used to be a lot more obsessed with germs and clothing and toothbrushing, etc, than he is now. In fact he is almost finished 2 weeks of overnight camp, so with help, it is quite possible to live a semi-normal life. I really hope your son can get some help. It is so stressful for the family. In fact, my husband and I were in couples counselling with the same psychologist who diagnosed our son.

Good luck, and let us know how you are coping.

 
Old 07-10-2008, 03:53 PM   #4
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Re: parents of son recently diagnosed with ocd.need some support please!

hi there,
thank you so much for the words i needed to hear, just to have some support means a LOT..
we are still managing to cope as much as we can.. right now our son is not staying in his bedroom at all and sleeps behind a chair in our living room as he does not want to "contaminate" it as its a good zone right now..
yes i agree my husband needs a bit patience and i constantly feel i am stuck in the middle and we are going to see the therapist come september as well as thats part of our sons overall therapy . Right now we are in limbo waiting for him to have his first appointment with the mood and anxiety clinic. His doctor has requested another visit and I had to cancel the appointment as our son refuses to even go in our van now, it has gotten that bad he wont leave the house when he is in the living room as he is too scared to contaminate his "good zones" its so confusing isnt it!
It is definitely causing a lot of grief here. He has insomnia on top of it and my husband just says he is being defiant and not wanting to go to sleep and i see it differently i guess as i have suffered with insomnia myself and can relate better i guess.
Some days like today i feel like i am losing my mind. I feel i am getting backed into a corner and have nowhere to turn. I want to yell and scream and let it all out but i just try to be the strongest i can so i can just keep going, keep going to work etc. I just remember when things seemed so much easier between my son and husband and now its getting to the point of constant battle ground here and i just feel i have nowhere to escape to. I know my husband means well and is trying to cope himself and comes across as being harsh with my son but he is just trying not to let our son control the whole household either which i do understand.
Again, thank you so much for understanding and sharing with me about your own son and this has helped me feel better already knowing there are people out there who truly know what i am going through.
Take care and hope to talk again soon..
revb

 
Old 07-10-2008, 10:49 PM   #5
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Re: parents of son recently diagnosed with ocd.need some support please!

revb,

Have you found a psychologist/therapsit that is available to work with your son? You might be able to explain the situation and arrange the therapist to come to your house or another place that your son feels "safe". It seems like he is suffering from extreme anxiety right now and hopefully you can find a therapist that can work together towards a solution.

Psychologists cannot prescribe medication on their own, but if you were referred by your family doctor, they usually work together if medication seems necessary. I am pretty sure it is the same in Alberta as in Ontario.

 
Old 07-12-2008, 02:07 PM   #6
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Re: parents of son recently diagnosed with ocd.need some support please!

revb,
Does your son go online? Does he know he has OCD? Does he want to get better?
Just a few questions I wanted to ask you.
That would be great, as the other poster suggested, if you could get a doc to come to the house at least to get him started on some meds. Therapy can come later after he's stabilized.

 
Old 07-17-2008, 05:55 PM   #7
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Re: parents of son recently diagnosed with ocd.need some support please!

Yes, we have talked about it openly for the last 6 months and he is aware of whats going on, he just cant get in our van to go back to the pediatrician to perhaps get some medication. I even suggested calling the distress center and ask the team to come to our house but he freaked out and so i didnt because he said he just needs another week and he will be back in his room and yet, if he goes back to his room then that means he wont be spending time with us in the living room but at least i can pursuade him into the van .. he wont go into any vehicle right now so its not just ours.. its all very hard to explain but we are coping the best we can and praying for september when he has his first visit in the mood and anxiety clinic and then go from there.... i just get so stressed some days thats all and i try to be as patient as i can and then i just feel like i am going to explode with emotion and now i am plain exhausted. Its hard as we both work full time as well and coming home to tons of sheets or towels from his excess showering and not wearing clothes in the house can be very tiring.. now i have told him he has to do his own laundry now that we have just moved and he just looks so sad and apologetic when i get upset.. he says: i 'm sorry mom. i 'm sorry. and puts his head down...... it breaks my heart.
thank you so m uch for the much needed support. it means so much.

 
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