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Everything posted by ConcernedMum

  1. @dksea Thank you very much for your kind words and for taking the time to post and share your own experiences with medication and therapy. We are very much at the start of our journey in tackling this horrible condition but hope to learn as much as we can to help and encourage my son with his recovery. I wish you the best as you continue with your own journey.
  2. Hi Hal, thank you for your reply. Thankfully he is keen to continue the CBT sessions. Other than the introductory session he's only had 4 so far but already thinks it will help him, but without the meds I'm not sure he'd have been able to continue at university - he's in the final year of his degree, and lives away from home during term time. This has made it somewhat harder for myself and my husband, however we talk regularly and see him at least once a week as we take him to his therapy sessions....we followed advice on this site and chose a BABCP accredited therapist rather than one most convenient for location. With regards to my own mental health (thanks for asking), I have been feeling incredibly guilty, since if there is a genetic element, there is no doubt that it has come from me. However, I am aware that I can best help him by also keeping myself healthy. I am fortunate that I have a supportive family, and I am also keeping a check on my own feelings, and prepared to re-visit CBT if necessary. I had 9 sessions through IAPT just over a year ago. Once again, many thanks for your encouraging comments/advice.
  3. My 20 year old son has been a worrier most of his life. Around 3 months ago we became aware he was struggling with intrusive thoughts, to the extent that he was unable to concentrate on his university studies. With the help of the Mind website, which then lead me here, we came to the conclusion he could be suffering from a form of OCD. We had a terrible few weeks trying to access any help, but to cut a long story short he was prescribed 50mg sertraline, which he was taking for around 3 weeks before he was able to get an appointment to start CBT with a private therapist. It took around 5 weeks for the medication to kick in (initially it either had no affect whatsoever or possibly made him worse..vivid nightmares etc). He was still struggling with intrusive thoughts however the medication improved his concentration to some extent and certainly helped lift his mood. After three weeks of therapy he could see this would also help him (although he struggles with some of the exercises). Around 2 weeks ago he was once again very low and thought he may need an increase in his sertraline. He spoke to the GP who didn't seem too concerned whether he went straight to 100mg or to 75mg first (we're not sure the GP really 'gets' he has OCD, she refers to low mood and anxiety). He opted to increase his dose gradually and try 75mg as an interim measure because of concerns about side effects. He is still having the odd thought that really 'sticks' (his compulsions are mainly all mental ones, and the needing to 'solve' all worries) but seems so much better on the whole. Yesterday he decided to increase to the 100mg, he had a really good day, no worries at all, but woke up this morning feeling terrible. Vivid dreams had him waking up crying in the night, went back to sleep but woke with the thought that everyone hates him, which we have put down to the dosage increase. Just to give you the complete picture he hasn't had a therapy session for over 2 weeks due to the xmas period, and his next appointment is over a week away. Apologies for the long winded post but I'm trying to seek advice on the balance between medication and therapy? Without the medication I am not sure he would deal with the ERP parts of his CBT therapy, at the same time although I want nothing more than for him to be rid of these horrible thoughts, if an increase in medication (assuming the side effects are short term and he can cope with them) removes them completely will the CBT therapy be as beneficial? I really want him to develop tools to help him through life, not just a reliance on medication. I know ultimately the decision is his, but as a young adult he does actively seek guidance, support and advice from us (and he is very much aware that without our help, he would probably still be struggling, with no understanding of his condition...he genuinely thought he was a very bad person! I'm so relieved and thankful he feels able to talk to us). As you may have gathered, I have had my own mental health issues over the years and have experience of SSRI's for depression and CBT for GAD (although from all the reading I've been doing recently I think I may fall into the category of rumination OCD!) Once again apologies for the long winded post, but any thoughts/advice/own experiences would be appreciated.
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