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Kaz

Sons ocd

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Hello

My son is still in a bad place. We have been passed from pillar to post to get help for him. I decided I had no choice than to find a  private counseller. I have found a lady that has a space for him. However when I told him he got really distressed and a bit angry. He has been sleeping on the sofa as he can't face his bedroom. But he has decided that he is going to attempt to go in his room Thursday of next week. He said if he had to go to the apt he would associate that with going into his room and he can't do it. I don't want to think it but I do worry that he may be manipulative as he is scared to face help as he will have to push himself. Everything he does has a feeling associated to it. Any advice. Should I put off the apt and see if he can get back in his room or risk the apt and have him not able to try.

Many thanks

Kaz

 

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Hi Kaz,

At this stage I'd personally prioritise keeping the appointment I think.

Knowing OCD it's more than likely if you were to cancel, your son would kick the can down the street so to speak anyway and still postpone getting back into his room.

By keeping it, you're also sending a strong message to him that he needs the therapist's support now. However scared he might be taking this step, all you can really do is reassure him you'll continue to do what you have been doing and support him during the therapy, but no more prevaricating.

All being well, if he is able to keep the appointment, and I really hope he can....they'll be able to help him break these faulty associations and he'll be able to use his bedroom normally again and much more.

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well I cant believe that since my last post we are in a worse situation with our 22 year old son.  we have had a private counseller come round for over 3 months. This has had no impact at all. We are now after a year and a half getting an hour a week from the mental health team. Our son sleeps on the sofa. He wears the same clothes day and night and although we can sometimes persuade him to let us wash his clothes quickly he has worn the same pants and socks since December. He hasn't showered for over a year and washes his hair once a week. The smell now is putrid. He cleans his teeth once a week. He only has a poo on a sunday night when he gets into the bathroom about 3 am and stays there until I get up for work. even then it can take an hour for him to get out making me late for work. The worst thing is that he is now not eating until gone 10 pm and is now only having a glass of squash and 4 homemade sausage rolls. this has gradually got worse. he is 5 ft 8 and weighed 6 10 . I managed to get him to eat even though it was a limited diet and meant I would spends hours in the kitchen cooking the things on his restricted list. he went up to 7st 10. But at the moment it is bad and he is not eating again. My dr  showed no interest when he was at his lowest weight. The mental health team are good but funds are not great.

I am beyond despair.  Our family is crumbeling and although we are all close and can talk about anything we are getting nowhere. 

What I really need from this forum is advice on how to go about helping my son. I feel as a family we are feeding his ocd rituals but also end up getting cross and frustrated. 

please any advice from carers or sufferers on how to help and support our son would be great.

thank you x

 

 

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Hi Kaz,

So sorry for you and your son. Is your son on any medication for the OCD or is he open to taking any if he's not? Medication helped me a lot to be able to do the CBT. I used to be in a pretty bad place, had a terrible time trying to get food in me too and lost a tonne of weight. I was aware of CBT and how the therapy worked but just couldn't do it. The meds helped me get to the point that I could. I had a lot of resistance around taking meds, but just started at a very small dose and worked up slowly.

The only other thing i could add to what you are already doing is to read and follow a self-help book for OCD. I relied entirely on a book to understand and apply the CBT method to getting better.

Wishing you and your family well--it's a tough thing for everyone to go through i know.

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Hi Kaz,

I guess some support from the mental health team if only for an hour is something, but I absolutely agree with you it’s nowhere near the level of support your son needs considering how severe the OCD is and the knock- on effect it’s having on his weight and health.

Has he been able to tell you what the underlying fear is behind his eating habits?

You’ve mentioned he only feels able to pass a motion Sunday evenings, is this down to a fear of contamination from faeces and thinking the less he eats the more he’ll be able to avoid using the toilet and any washing compulsions he’d have to perform afterwards...or are his food choices like choosing a particular slice of pizza being dictated by feeling he has to follow very rigid rules with his diet? It could be a combination of factors, possibly even a need for some sense of control over food and his weight when he feels anything but in control because of the anxiety... but if you can get to the root of what he fears it would help to work out how best to help him begin facing rather than avoiding his fears.

17 hours ago, Kaz said:

I feel as a family we are feeding his ocd rituals 

It’s incredibly difficult not to, but in the long run not feeding the OCD is what will help your son the most. Unfortunately it’s really a case of being cruel to to be kind, but I appreciate that’s very easy for me to suggest, it’s a whole other ball game when someone you love is in so much distress not to do what the disorder is dictating.

I’m just sorry the counsellor hasn’t helped, do you know if they’ve been providing CBT? It’s so difficult when the sufferer isn’t able to fully commit to treatment...I know Carolj was in a very similar situation to you with her son and suddenly one day he changed his mind. I hope the penny will drop for your son too, and maybe as leif has said, perhaps medication might be worth considering if it helps him take that step.

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If you enable your son it’ll just continue this is why you must treat your entire family system. 

 

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@Kaz Sorry to hear about the struggles your family continues to deal with.

On 05/06/2019 at 00:39, Hal said:

It’s incredibly difficult not to, but in the long run not feeding the OCD is what will help your son the most. Unfortunately it’s really a case of being cruel to to be kind, but I appreciate that’s very easy for me to suggest, it’s a whole other ball game when someone you love is in so much distress not to do what the disorder is dictating.

As an OCD sufferer I can tell you there were times where my mother refusal to give me the reassurance I was pushing made me angry and frustrated, but it was also the absolute right thing to do.  I don't have children of my own yet so I can't imagine how hard it must be to consider doing it, but I think you are on the right track by considering what you can do to apply some "tough love" to the situation.  Even if he doesn't appreciate it now, I hope that someday your son will be in a place where he can recognize the sacrifices you made for him and thank you for it.  

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