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Ocd

tiggs72

Registered User
Jul 15, 2013
142
0
Hi this is not so much about dementia but the affect my dads AD has had on my teenage son who is 13.

The last 6 months he had developed so OCD rituals in particular repeating phrases constantly at night and we have to answer or he can't sleep. He continually apologies (even if he hasn't done anything wrong ) and we have to say OK.

All this seems to coincide with dads diagnosis which my son hasn't really expressed much emotion about.

I'm really worried, try to be tolerant but its wearing me out because I am tired anyway and just need him to stop!

Has anyone else experienced this? I'm thinking of taking him to the Dr but worry this will draw more attention to it!

Worn out Tiggs from tonight's ritual (4 attempts at nite I love you......)!
 

Grand designs

Registered User
Sep 18, 2013
4
0
Hi this is not so much about dementia but the affect my dads AD has had on my teenage son who is 13.

The last 6 months he had developed so OCD rituals in particular repeating phrases constantly at night and we have to answer or he can't sleep. He continually apologies (even if he hasn't done anything wrong ) and we have to say OK.

All this seems to coincide with dads diagnosis which my son hasn't really expressed much emotion about.

I'm really worried, try to be tolerant but its wearing me out because I am tired anyway and just need him to stop!

Has anyone else experienced this? I'm thinking of taking him to the Dr but worry this will draw more attention to it!

Worn out Tiggs from tonight's ritual (4 attempts at nite I love you......)![/QUOTE
 

Grand designs

Registered User
Sep 18, 2013
4
0
Hi I have had some experience with a child suffering from OCD. It lasted for approx two years in total. This was mainly due to the fact that, in the beginning, when it all started, we just did n't know what to do. We went to the doctors which turned out to be a nightmare. They did not really know how to deal with our child and referred us onto a special unit. To cut a long story short we took our child to a CBT therapist (cognitive behavioural therapist). We paid privately as this treatment was not available on the NHS. The results were AMAZING. I would NOT suggest going to the doctors as our experience of the special unit was not nice. We had six sessions with the therapist and we have never looked back. Our child was about 10 when the OCD started. We were initially told by one doctor just to ignore it and our child's behaviour will go away. You cannot do this, the behaviour needs addressing. Good luck.
 

Mamsgirl

Registered User
Jun 2, 2013
635
0
Melbourne, Australia
Hi Tiggs,

Well you really needed this too, didn't you?!!!

Only thought is the hormonal changes around this time can turn the volume up on anything neuro-atypical. ADHD and Aspberger's kids discover a whole world of things to be fearful and/or angry about.

Don't know much about OCD, but presumably this isn't new in your boy, and it makes sense the change in his family would kick any anxieties up a notch. Whoever's been helping with management of your lad's challenges can no doubt help.

Good luck!
Toni x
 

tiggs72

Registered User
Jul 15, 2013
142
0
Hi I have had some experience with a child suffering from OCD. It lasted for approx two years in total. This was mainly due to the fact that, in the beginning, when it all started, we just did n't know what to do. We went to the doctors which turned out to be a nightmare. They did not really know how to deal with our child and referred us onto a special unit. To cut a long story short we took our child to a CBT therapist (cognitive behavioural therapist). We paid privately as this treatment was not available on the NHS. The results were AMAZING. I would NOT suggest going to the doctors as our experience of the special unit was not nice. We had six sessions with the therapist and we have never looked back. Our child was about 10 when the OCD started. We were initially told by one doctor just to ignore it and our child's behaviour will go away. You cannot do this, the behaviour needs addressing. Good luck.

Hi grand designs

Any info would be greatly appreciated about the therapy you tried even if it means paying I just want to help him- I thought for a while it might be settling down or I was making a mountain out of a molehill - the extent of this is as follows:

1) he had a set rigid routine in the morning that we can't break him out of so if is sister is in the bathroom for a minute longer than she should be he's banging the door and getting agitated.
2) he has to line up placemats, rotate glasses etc before he can eat
3) he has become horrendous with the textures and colours of food he will eat so mealtimes are a nightmare
4) continually saying sorry and if dont specifically say OK he goes into melt down
5) bedtime routine if having to stand outside our closed bedroom and sayin 'night mum love you, night mike (my partner) and again we have to answer in a specific way

Sorry for the ramble have been awake since 5.30 worrying about him and my poor old dad

X
 

tiggs72

Registered User
Jul 15, 2013
142
0
Hi Tiggs,

Well you really needed this too, didn't you?!!!

Only thought is the hormonal changes around this time can turn the volume up on anything neuro-atypical. ADHD and Aspberger's kids discover a whole world of things to be fearful and/or angry about.

Don't know much about OCD, but presumably this isn't new in your boy, and it makes sense the change in his family would kick any anxieties up a notch. Whoever's been helping with management of your lad's challenges can no doubt help.

Good luck!
Toni x

Hi mamsgirl

Thanks for the advice it may well be hormones contributing as well as his internal upset about his grandad and his AD. Dad was supposed to come and watch him play football on Saturday / only for 20 mins or so but suddenly didn't want to st the last minute so my son was really disappointed.

He's always been do close to my dad and get know he's ill it's like my son had shut down all his emotions! X
 

Tears Falling

Registered User
Jul 8, 2013
637
0
There are a number of helpful books that you can get on ocd. You could go to the doctor with out your son - to "sound them out" and see if they can help. Referrals for CBT can take a while to come through in which case the option to find a specialist and pay for sessions privately may be the way to go.
 

RobinH

Registered User
Apr 9, 2012
264
0
London
Your son

Hi

I'm very sorry to hear your double problem. I hope nobody will be offended if I say that of the two, your son must take priority. This is a serious problem, and hoping it goes away is hugely risky. It may or may not be related to your father, but that's not really relevant. The sad truth is we all know where dementia ends, and can only do so much to help, but your son has a whole life in front of him, and this is a crucial time - if not fixed, it could dominate his life and lead to other psychological problems.

Have you tried his school, the gp, related charities? Like any other difficult problem, try all avenues at once, and chase them down until they dry up. And don't give up.

If you ever have to choose between the best interests of your son and your father, choose your son. If your father could understand, it's what he would tell you.
 

CollegeGirl

Registered User
Jan 19, 2011
9,525
0
North East England
My heart totally goes out to you. My teenage daughter has a problem which I don't want to go into on the forum, really, but which has caused us all, me in particular, a massive amount of stress, so I think I know just how you feel.

We, too, didn't really have a good experience through the GP who referred her for CBT, which she attended for a year, with very little positive effect.

It was only when we paid privately for hypnotherapy that we saw an improvement.

I'm not saying that CBT won't work for your son - I sincerely hope it does - but do be prepared to try alternatives until you find something that does help him.

I also agree completely with RobinH about putting your son first. Your dad would agree too, I'm sure.

Good luck and please do let us know how you get on.
 

Grand designs

Registered User
Sep 18, 2013
4
0
Hi Tiggs

The actions you describe are very very similar to my daughter's behaviour at the height of her OCD. The therapist cost £80 per session. It was the best value for money I have paid for anything in my life.


I have tried to give you some advice below. Please note I am not professionally trained in CBT in any way. This advice is gleaned from my life experience. It is factual and honest.


Try and not pass on your anxiety you are feeling about your son onto him as this only exacerbates the whole situation. He will know what he is doing is strange but cannot help himself. Try and remain calm. I remember in the early stages with my daughter I shouted at her to stop and said I would not let her do certain things that she liked doing thinking this would make her stop. IT DID NOT.

A calm, soft voice is needed to explain that those repetitive actions are not necessary. Don' t force him to stop as in his mind he NEEDS to do these things, as horrible it is for you to see him doing them.

Try and be patient. Your child is old enough to say to him that you are going to seek help for him to sort this little "problem" out. I would try to play down his behaviour in front of him. Showing alarm/ frustration/ anger/ worry/ distress to my daughter only made her worry about things even more thus fuelling the OCD.

This can be sorted out. At the height of all the OCD behaviour we had to move my daughter to another school. I think that had we had proper advice when it all started it would not have got so bad. Tackle this head on.

My daughter is a confident, happy, perceptive, well adjusted teenager. There is light a the end of the tunnel.

My mum has dementia. I know what's its like.

Be positive !

X














Hi grand designs

Any info would be greatly appreciated about the therapy you tried even if it means paying I just want to help him- I thought for a while it might be settling down or I was making a mountain out of a molehill - the extent of this is as follows:

1) he had a set rigid routine in the morning that we can't break him out of so if is sister is in the bathroom for a minute longer than she should be he's banging the door and getting agitated.
2) he has to line up placemats, rotate glasses etc before he can eat
3) he has become horrendous with the textures and colours of food he will eat so mealtimes are a nightmare
4) continually saying sorry and if dont specifically say OK he goes into melt down
5) bedtime routine if having to stand outside our closed bedroom and sayin 'night mum love you, night mike (my partner) and again we have to answer in a specific way

Sorry for the ramble have been awake since 5.30 worrying about him and my poor old dad

X
 
Last edited by a moderator:

tiggs72

Registered User
Jul 15, 2013
142
0
Thanks all for the advice so much appreciated! Will look into all the options - I feel so sorry for the poor little mite yet at the same time it's wearing and so frustrating!!

Not offended by the advice to put him first - he was the apple of my dads eye so he would always expect me to put my son before him.

I'm going to speak to the school and his year tutor today to make them aware as I'm sure it won't be long before he can't control it in school - he has said his mates have mentioned his oddities!!

I tried to talk to him at breakfast to suggest we looked at helping him and I hit a stone walk - so will do my own investigations first! His response to me was simple - by doing it he feels safe and nothing bad will happen!

Thanks again all for support! Will keep you updated x
 

tiggs72

Registered User
Jul 15, 2013
142
0
The actions you describe are very very similar to my daughter's behaviour at the height of her OCD. The therapist cost £80 per session. It was the best value for money I have paid for anything in my life.


I have tried to give you some advice below. Please note I am not professionally trained in CBT in any way. This advice is gleaned from my life experience. It is factual and honest.


Try and not pass on your anxiety you are feeling about your son onto him as this only exacerbates the whole situation. He will know what he is doing is strange but cannot help himself. Try and remain calm. I remember in the early stages with my daughter I shouted at her to stop and said I would not let her do certain things that she liked doing thinking this would make her stop. IT DID NOT.

A calm, soft voice is needed to explain that those repetitive actions are not necessary. Don' t force him to stop as in his mind he NEEDS to do these things, as horrible it is for you to see him doing them.

Try and be patient. Your child is old enough to say to him that you are going to seek help for him to sort this little "problem" out. I would try to play down his behaviour in front of him. Showing alarm/ frustration/ anger/ worry/ distress to my daughter only made her worry about things even more thus fuelling the OCD.

This can be sorted out. At the height of all the OCD behaviour we had to move my daughter to another school. I think that had we had proper advice when it all started it would not have got so bad. Tackle this head on.

My daughter is a confident, happy, perceptive, well adjusted teenager. There is light a the end of the tunnel.

My mum has dementia. I know what's its like.

Be positive !

X

That's brilliant thank you so much - will let you know how we get on x
 
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Katrine

Registered User
Jan 20, 2011
2,837
0
England
"...by doing it he feels safe and nothing bad will happen!"

These extreme comfort/safety rituals may appear to him to make him feel good/safe (temporarily). However, scary things will continue to happen in his life over which he can have no control. A near miss crossing the road, a heated argument with a close friend, accidental damage to a prized possession, etc. Then he will think that he didn't do enough to prevent this, and the rituals will escalate in severity. If he currently has to tap his left shoe against his right ankle three times before going upstairs, it will need to be six times, or twenty. He won't be able to understand this logic, or even if he does, he is in the grip of the temporary comfort and relief that the rituals provide. He does need professional support. Not least because the things causing his anxiety may be related to family issues so he can't talk about them with members of his family.

My personal experience of OCD was aged 7. I had a number of rituals at that time. They didn't make me feel good, but I felt panicked if I didn't do them. I can remember conducting my own CBT when the rituals and fears started to be noticeable to other people. I knew that I wouldn't get any sympathy from parents who were busy with my younger brothers and expected me to be the sensible grown-up child. Attention seeking and showing off were totally unacceptable to my mother. Strangely, as she was no stranger to these behaviours herself! :rolleyes:

At the time I had a number of things in my life that were frightening and involving major change. Adults would say "children don't have problems, only grown-ups have problems" so it was impossible to articulate my fears. I was trying to cope with them by comfort rituals. However, I observed that the rituals did not make things better. Instead, the rituals were escalating.

I remember saying to myself, this is starting to control you and where is it all going to end? Look at other children - they don't need to do these things to be safe. When you are with other children you will be safe for a while because they are obviously protected from harm. Start with resisting the urges when you are with other children, and if you can cope with your feelings, then you can tackle the private rituals. These were things like mentally drawing in the details of faces when you are looking at someone. This was so distracting that I wasn't listening to my teachers in class, I was trying to capture and control them by this mental drawing exercise.

I needed to stop the OCD because: a) it was becoming very time-consuming b) I knew logically that I couldn't really control the world by ritual c) the shame and panic when people noticed something odd about my behaviour was worse than the things I was actually afraid of!

I asked myself: "What's the worst that can happen if you don't do this [protective ritual]?" Answer, I don't know, and not knowing is scary. So I decided to deliberately resist the urge and cope with the feelings of panic by distraction. For example, if the trigger situation was a familiar scene, then when I experienced the desire to perform the ritual I would fill my mind with a completely different image until the panic subsided. I think what I was doing was some sort of visualisation exercise.

I decided to improve my level of ritual resistance on a week-by-week basis, with the plan that in 6 months time I would have it under control. In fact it only took about 2 months to achieve. Thereafter, when I felt the impulse to develop a new ritual I would sabotage it immediately by deliberately doing the thing that made me anxious, e.g. stepping on cracks in the pavement! Of course I didn't know that I had experienced OCD. I just remembered how bad I had felt at the time and was determined never to slip back into that state of feeling out of control and in the grip of bad thoughts.

When I reflect on why I developed OCD I think it was because it did not feel safe to share my feelings with anyone else, or if I did then my fears were dismissed with soothing words. After all, what can a 7-year old in a loving home possibly have to fear that would be that bad? Having talked to my adult children, I realise that they too had tremendous fears and insecurities that at the time they felt adults could not help them with. Fortunately they all had a close bunch of friends as their support. Perhaps this is what makes the biggest difference, especially to teenagers.
 

CollegeGirl

Registered User
Jan 19, 2011
9,525
0
North East England
Katrine, your post has astounded me, I'm sitting here in tears. As an adult and a parent, I feel I should be able to fix anything for my child.

Thinking back to your seven year old self, going through this OCD, what could your parents have said to you, or done, to help you? I feel useless sometimes yet am always desperate to help her, but don't know what to say. Any insight at all would be so helpful.
 

Katrine

Registered User
Jan 20, 2011
2,837
0
England
Now that I discover my own children were also gripped by fears when they were young, I also wonder why I didn't understand this or help them more at the time. I think children decide for themselves how much parents can help them. They know our personalities and see our reactions to things all the time, and work out for themselves whether we might understand, or not. I like to think that we did help them a great deal by talking to them and setting a good example. However, we just can't protect them from everything they are exposed to.

When I was a teenager I was bullied at school, but at least once I got home I was safe. I can't imagine the pressures children are under nowadays with cyber-bullying and malicious texts, not to mention the whole pressure of having all this connectivity and being expected to use it or you'll be a social pariah. It must be awful not to get a text, email or Facebook message when you need these as an affirmation of friendship. That only highlights that everyone else is OK and you are not, just Billy No Mates. It's not like in our day when not every household had a telephone or the money to use a callbox, and you were expected to ask permission anyway so there were lots of reasons why you only saw your school mates at school or on the bus.

To answer your question CG, I think I developed my OCD rituals to cope with the things that I felt adults couldn't help with. In hindsight, and if my parents, teachers and parents' friends had all been perfect, then I could certainly have done with less of "pull yourself together" "why should you have anything to worry about?" "you're such a worry and a disappointment to everybody" "why can't you be more like so-and-so" "other people's children don't do......" "you'll end up with no friends if you carry on like this" "your teachers are complaining about you" etc. etc. In my own particular circumstances the messages were that I was a bad child. In fact I was dreamy, imaginative, creative, and lived in my own little world. I had not developed into the self-controlled and logic-driven individual that I later became! However, I suppose I worked my way out of OCD by the application of logic.

Again, in my particular circumstances, I know now that my mother was very unhappy for a number of reasons, she was extremely insecure anyway, and while she was a tremendously dedicated and caring mother she was also trying to mould her children into the people she wanted them to be. In her day, the childcare books subscribed to the 'blank slate' model - children were the product of their upbringing, so if they weren't good children it must be the parents' fault. There was tremendous pressure on me to be a good child and to please my teachers. My mother had been at boarding school from the age of 3, and her emotional survival depended on being a good girl. I really think she, and my father, believed that if I was asked to leave my school I would end up in some sort of institution. This sounds really extreme, and I was just a normal little girl, kind to animals and children, honest and truthful. But I was untidy, had unruly curly hair, inclined to daydream, extremely forgetful, only worked hard at the things that interested me, and generally didn't seem like the best material for my convent school to work with.

Sorry to ramble on, and I don't want to hijack the OP's thread. I would say, IMO, that the pressures a child is under will be partly those personal insecurities about popularity, school performance, appearance and attractiveness, what am I going to do with my life, etc. The other pressures are to do with their home circumstances. This is where parents can be a help or a hindrance. I am no expert. I have a child who began an addiction aged 15 that I was unaware of for 4 years, so I can hardly offer myself as any kind of parenting role model. She says that it would have made no difference if I had known because it was her issue, and I couldn't have helped. I don't know whether that is true, but the secrecy can't have made her any happier.

I suppose if I was the OP I would get the phrase OCD out in the open and then her son can find out some more about it for himself if he is not willing to be helped by his family at present. It is tremendously embarrassing for a child, especially a teenage child, to be seen as someone with a problem that other people have decided needs fixing. When life problems coincide with puberty the child must feel especially scared of the changes happening to their body and emotions. Everything seems to be out of control. No wonder control rituals seem to offer some respite from the emotional storms. Can you remember what it was like to be 13? I wouldn't want to go through it again.
 

tiggs72

Registered User
Jul 15, 2013
142
0
Hi katrine

Your post also made me cry! Your experience sounded awful and thank you for sharing to offer some help.

My partner and I have discussed it this evening and will do whatever we can to help him.

It's so heartbreaking as he's such a closed book - but you are right it definitely gets worse, on Saturday night he went to a sleepover but came home first for tea for fear of the types of food he might have. Everyday he asks without fail what are we having for tea as if mentally preparing for what's ahead.

He's had a tough little life growing up and his real dad is not the most stable - he is fortunate though that my partner invests a lot of time and interest in him to try and help him through.

Thanks everyone for your kind words and advice - I'm feeling pretty guilty that I've been so preoccupied with dad that I've missed this getting worse and I've failed to help him sooner xx
 

Katrine

Registered User
Jan 20, 2011
2,837
0
England
Sorry I made you cry. :( It was 50 years ago, and I have got over it. I can look back with an adult's eyes and forgive myself for not being perfect, whereas at the time I felt that I was expected to be perfect and just didn't have the ability to achieve it.

The best thing any parent can do is to tell their child that they are valued as a unique human being. Praise their achievements, not just the big things but the small things that only a family member sees. Tell them how it cheers up your day when they walk through the door, and that you are so glad you are lucky enough to have been given this child to love.

If your child tells you that they are not good enough, remind them that nobody is perfect and that 'OK and trying hard' is more than good enough for you. Let them know that it is all right to make mistakes because that is how we learn.

While I am not an advocate of "when I was your age", how that makes a teenager cringe! :D they do need to know that you had some struggles in your own teenage years and came out the other side. As I recall, it is this worry that you won't achieve a normal adult life that is the biggest fear at that age. Just because everyone else seems to do it, does that mean that you will be able to? What happens if you can't? :eek:
 

Noorza

Registered User
Jun 8, 2012
6,542
0
I have had positive experiences with the NHS and CBT.

As others have said try to keep the atmosphere as calm a possible in the house, the more anxiety, the worse the OCD behaviours become. I hate self diagnosis on mental health issues but he is ticking all of the boxes. Some of the behaviours you are describing fit into the autistic spectrum too, they may not be, it will take a specialist to diagnose, I'm just a poster with experience.

OCD is an anxiety disorder, the worse the anxiety, the harder it is and there could be a myriad of triggers. Other children will have the same experiences as your son and won't get OCD do please don't go down the self blame route, I only say this as I have met many many parents whose children had OCD and most of us looked at ourselves to find reasons.

You should do as you say and see the school, the school nurse can make the referral as can the GP. Don't be fobbed off I got the same line as an earlier poster in the beginning in as much as it was a phase and the GP said it would pass. Most people need to be taught CBT as some of the things we do very naturally as parents, we have to change.

So if you have to say "OK" to calm your son down, CBT would say that you agree with your son that you have to stop giving him that reassurance (I use this as an example please don't take it on board without professionals supporting and guiding you). So you'd agree that the reassuring "OK" will be withdrawn. The first time he will have a melt down, the second he will have a melt down (slightly less than the first), the third a meltdown (lesser again). Until the meltdown isn't there any more. By giving the "OK" we are buying into the rituals and feeding them. I can't stress enough to get professional advice on this and support for both of you where ever you get that from don't start on my say so as this is complicated and professional help is invaluable.

I was told that if you get a referral from the school nurse and the GP, it will show CAMHS that your son is struggling in home and school life and it increases the urgency, I don't know if that is a local or national thing but it can't hurt.

If your son starts to self harm, I pray he doesn't, but if he does and he is a danger to himself or others, then the waiting list disappears and he is seen immediately.

Your son has now become the priority as others have said your son has his life ahead of him and how quickly this can come under control will impact on his life massively.

If it is any consolation, a consultant once said to me that OCD is the most treatable of all mental health conditions. The sooner he gets started on CBT the better for him. He may need medications too in the short term be open to considering anything the professionals recommend is my advice.
 

Noorza

Registered User
Jun 8, 2012
6,542
0
I have to say that any child who has suspected OCD MUST be taken to a GP. I am so sorry that GD's experience was not good and naturally delighted that their Cognitive Behavioural Therapist was excellent BUT for the layman and woman, we couldn't know who was good and who was bad, they could end up with a bad one, and a bad therapist is worse than no therapist in my opinion.

Any concerns about a child's mental health IMO should be reported to the GP. If there are concerns about waiting lists and I know this is a common problem, a child suffering with OCD can't wait months to get treatment started, then the GP is the best person to signpost where to go. If the NHS services are too slow, then jump ahead with privately by all means but do so with the support and advice from the child's doctor. In my opinion anyway.

CBT is available on the NHS, I know as we have benefited greatly from it.
 

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