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Scared for my son. Dont know how to help.

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Scared for my son. Dont know how to help.

Postby Cg33 » Thu Nov 15, 2018 3:46 pm

Hello,

My son is 12 years old and has been diagnosed with OCD. He's always been a perfectionist and anxious about doing everything "right", but it started spiraling out of control last summer. He got really into religion. I figured it was just a phase and when he came to terms with his beliefs he would relax. The next thing I knew, he was constantly saying prayers under his breath and doing little rituals that he was terrified would damn him to hell if he didnt complete. Then i noticed the hand washing. He's washing his hands every 5 minutes.....and then overly concerned about cleanliness. He told he last night that no matter how many times he washes his hands, they smell like poop. I smelled his hands and they smell like soap.

He's being bullied by 10+ kids at school, not about OCD, they don't know what he does, but just because he is small, nice, and studious. We are moving back to our old state (we moved two years ago) to get him back to more familiar surroundings, better schools, friends and family. I think it will help. I hope it will help.

Right now he is taking 25mg of sertraline, but it's not helping at all. He has an emergency doctor's appointment tomorrow and I kept him home from school today because things were so bad last night and this morning.

He's such a great kid.....kind, generous, bright, talented. I'm scared this is going to ruin everything for him. Is there hope for living with OCD? I keep reading stories of people who are unable to function even after intensive treatment. What do we do for him? How is he actually feeling about this? Will a less stressful environment help???

I'm sorry for the long post.
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Re: Scared for my son. Dont know how to help.

Postby pfuser55 » Sun Nov 25, 2018 2:03 am

I have had OCD for decades and religious beliefs and routines have been a big part of it. Medication now controls things wonderfully for me, although it took some time to find the right one. I hope this reply gives you some encouragement - I would recommend trying to find a support group for yourself and your son as well as following evidence-based treatments with a psychiatrist. Hope this helps.
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Re: Scared for my son. Dont know how to help.

Postby tallis » Mon Nov 26, 2018 7:01 pm

couple of things to keep in mind...
1.) OCD is generally thought of as anxiety driven. Small (and large) stressors can impact severity of symptoms.
2.) You said he's 12. I would guess puberty is having an impact on symptoms.

I've lived with OCD for decades and it is much less bothersome then what it was for me. Mostly I've learned to live around it. People do lead successful lives with it. For what it's worth, I've been on an SSRI for decades that manages the symptoms some.

As far as rituals, etc... (for me) its far less intrusive to check and recheck (and recheck) a locked door, than to deal with the anxiety of NOT checking it. So, as an adult I had to kind of figure out the lesser of two evils in a lot of situations. Knowing that checking/rechecking is a sign of illness, but not fighting it, when it is the easier way.

Another thought... if he can smell his hands, but you do not, he might be having olfactory hallucinations. Maybe talk with his doc
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Re: Scared for my son. Dont know how to help.

Postby Otter » Tue Nov 27, 2018 4:25 am

To the O/P. I see you haven't been back since the day you posted above. If you do return, I hope that your son is doing better after seeing the doc, or at least you have a strategy.

As mentioned above it sometimes it takes trying different meds to find the right one. It took me a while.

Also, there needs to be a multifaceted approach to addressing his needs. Meds will only get someone so far. I strongly suggest that he see a therapist, someone who deals with anxiety disorders and childhood/adolescent issues, like bullying.

Also, please be especially aware of your son's behavior after starting a new SSRI and any psychotropic drug. On rare occasions, these medications can cause suicidal/homicidal ideation. Please ask your doctor about this, for some reason they avoid bringing it up, in my experience. But the data is there.
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