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paulfoel

Not enabling a sufferer?

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How far do you take this?

I understand how you shouldn't enable a sufferer but how far do you take this? Isn't there a risk of stopping something dead causing lots of stress?

You might see my other post about 14 year old son and his use of antibac spray/hand gel. Its been ongoing for 2 years+ and we thought we'd give him to space to work through with professional support. But nothing has changed and he seems happy to carry on as normal because he can. Also, its having an effect on the rest of the family now with his misuse.

Should be stop the enabling dead? i.e. No more anti-bac spray from now on. Part of me is thinking well nothing has changed so far when we gave him space and I can't see anything changing in the future, along with the safety issues hes caused, so its something we have to try. Another part is thinking if we stop "cold turkey" is that going to make things worse and cause major stress for him?

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What you're suggesting is pretty much ERP (exposure response prevention) with is a form of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. Basically re-wiring the brain through exposure to perceived 'dangerous situations' but without engaging in the safety behaviour us OCD sufferers are all accustomed to. However, ERP should only be carried out by a trained professional. I know for a fact this works because I've done it myself albeit by accident, however I was an adult at the time so I wou9ldn't want to advise on managing a teenagers case. 

Your son's anxiety would lessen over time if he didn't use this spray and lived with the 'uncertainty' but again, this is stuff which only trained pro's can teach. 

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Based on my own experience of what happened with me when I was thirteen and my mum was advised to suddenly stop enabling my compulsions, I would say do not go cold turkey. His levels of fear will go through the roof, and you would probably have a crisis situation on your hands. It is best if you reduce it gradually.

Obviously you can't just let him spray his sister with bleach though. Maybe if you told him you would be forced by outside agencies to take it away completely if he doesn't stop, it might make him think.

Is he taking any medication?

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5 hours ago, cookiemonster said:

I’d seek advice and guidance from a therapist before doing this so it’s in a structured format 

Yes ideally. BUT we've tried this for the last two years and its got nowhere to be honest. Completely useless CAMHS are.

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3 hours ago, Lost_in_a_Dark_Maze said:

Based on my own experience of what happened with me when I was thirteen and my mum was advised to suddenly stop enabling my compulsions, I would say do not go cold turkey. His levels of fear will go through the roof, and you would probably have a crisis situation on your hands. It is best if you reduce it gradually.

Obviously you can't just let him spray his sister with bleach though. Maybe if you told him you would be forced by outside agencies to take it away completely if he doesn't stop, it might make him think.

Is he taking any medication?

Yes know what you mean. If you don't me asking how long ago was this? i.e. is it recent thinking or far back in time? :-)

Primary thing is to ensure everyone is safe. At times, with some of his behaviour its get close to the critical mark sometimes.

As I said, we've tried the gradual approach along with the CAMHS people. Got nowhere partly because of their uselessness and partly because son just does not want to bother cutting down. I guess its easier to continue as it is.

Yes he is taking Sertraline - 100mg I think.

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No, I don't mind. I'm 26 now, so it was over a decade ago. I did make quite a bit of improvement at the time, once I'd started medication, combined with the CBT. It wasn't a quick fix though, and despite all the progress I never did make it back to a full day at school. My OCD is currently severe again.

I'm not trying to depress you, but just so you know that if your son doesn't seem to be getting better, it doesn't mean that you're doing the wrong things. Recovery often isn't an easy process.

I think I recall you saying your son had been diagnosed with Asperger's? It is important that is taken into account as the therapy will need to be tailored to his needs.

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