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OCD and Anxiety in 15 yr old boy

OCD and Anxiety in 15 yr old boy

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Casual scribe

OCD and Anxiety in 15 yr old boy

My son was diagnosed w OCD and Anxiety at 12. He has panic attacks where he says that he "can't breath" and has negative repetitive thoughts. After about 4 months in CBT he felt fine and refused to continue with therapy. He had a set back before his freshman year of HS that caused anxiety attacks again with his fears being going away to camp and starting a new school. He started school and was great! LAUGHED at the things he was afraid of before, hadn't had an anxiety attack all year. Now, this summer, out of NOW WHERE he has almost reverted back to being a baby. He is scared of everything. His negative repetitive thoughts are that he is "not breathing" and that if he leaves the house, he will stop breathing and die alone.. He is terrified of death. Stopped playing sports (was a varsity football player as a sophomore- his whole life's dream) refused to go to school and STOPPED EATING which is a big thing because my kid loves to eat! Its ridiculous to me. Its like he has lost all common sense and can't recognize reality. I feel so helpless   I am also so mad at him!! he has lost everything he worked so hard for so he can sit home... he invites his friends over and I allow it bc I see he is not stressed when they are over and it distracts him. But I feel like I am rewarding someone who does NOTHING. Its making me sick. He is seeing a therapist and Psychiatrist. They prescribed him a medication with horrible side effects (that's when he stopped eating) Now he's been on another medication for 4 weeks - they just upp'ed his dosage 5 days ago. He is still anxious - not as bad. But he still refuses to accept he is feeling better and clings to this "I can't do this" attitude. This is a kid who worked out 3 hrs a day, 4 days a week.. someone who lived and breathed sports and weight lifting... Its like he is a different person. Has anyone else experienced this with OCD and Anxiety? How do you parent a child like this I don't even know how to speak to him anymore,  it's like he is not my kid anymore. Its heart breaking

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Community Manager

Re: OCD and Anxiety in 15 yr old boy

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Hey @jjlow 

 

Thank you for coming here to seek help with this situation. It is so heart-breaking to see the ones we love the most struggle with their mental health. I'm just wondering if you have any support as you go through this, from friends/family or even a counsellor? It's really important to get as much support as possible when caring for a teen with OCD and Anxiety. On that note, I'm really glad you were able to get the frustrating parts of this situation off your chest here so that you can support your son.

 

It sounds like you have coordinated all the right professionals for your son (therapist and psychiatrist) and it's really positive that the CBT worked for your son when he tried it. The difficult part of recovering from a mental health challenge, is that it can take a long time find the right therapist and medication. It takes time to rewire anxious/obsessive thought pathways and there can be many set backs along the way. This is hard to watch and hard to experience - especially when it comes with a loss of ability to do things that were previously a positive. 

 

It's a cruel aspect of OCD/Anxiety that it does tend to rob you of your "common sense" and grip on reality. What is happening in your internal world paints a lot of how we perceive our environment so over time the confusion of it all can take hold. In saying this symptoms can be managed and recovery is possible Heart 

 

Also just wanted to let you know that I did need to edit your post as some of it went against our community guidelines which you can read here when you have some time. 

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Re: OCD and Anxiety in 15 yr old boy

Hi! I am so sorry to hear that you are going through all of this. In truth, you are going through the anxiety attacks as much as he is. That being said...

 

What seems ridiculous to you, ir very real and perilous to him. Picture yourself in an ocean, with a rock tied to your ankle. The weight keeps pulling you down. People are watching you, wondering why you aren't swimming, because they can't see the weight below the surface that is keeping you trapped. The more you fight, the more exhausted you get, until you finally submerge. It is the fear that is driving your son right now, so the first thing you need to do is validate that it is very real to him.

 

Does he like music? It can be very calming to many people - depending on what they listen to.

 

Have a LONG talk with him. Try to find out if something has happened that has caused this fear to emerge. It is a scary time for kids these days.... school can be deadly, and they face that fear every day. Add that to the raging hormones, and brain chemistry constantly changing, and it is a recipe for chaos. If he doesn't open up to you, perhaps there is an adult in his life he can open up to. You need to know if there is something he is keeping from you, with the belief you will get angry or he is protecting you from worry. 

 

What calms your son, aside from the medication? Do you let him see you are exasperated? If so, that will make it worse. The best thing you can do is reassure him without making him think his fear is real. 

 

And seek a support group for parents with anxious kids. They can be a lot of help!

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Re: OCD and Anxiety in 15 yr old boy

Ty yes I know it’s very real for him I have experienced a panic attack myself and it feels like you are dying. I talk to him every day. I feel like I’m his cheerleader. I give him a pep talk daily. I had a very close relationship with him he will tell me things that a mom shouldn’t know.. like what friends are doing drugs or smoking what goes on at school social issues etc. he is ADAMANT that there is no “thing” that is bugging him. And I don’t want to be a sucker for his words but I watch him with his friends I have teachers and coaches at the school watching for signs of an issue I have gone through his phone constantly since this started I watch when he is with his friends have my daughter listen to convos. Everything else in his life is great just constant obsessive thoughts and panic. His bloodwork did come back with signs of an auto immune issue. I’m thinking this is more medical than mental. But whatever it is, it is making him have this anxiety and depression. I have seen an improvement the last few days w this new medication. I am
Praying that it helps. He sees me cry some times and he knows it’s because I feel so bad for him. And that upsets him bc I dont usually cry I should join a support group that’s a good idea
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Community Manager

Re: OCD and Anxiety in 15 yr old boy

Hey @jjlow 

 

You sound like an amazing mother. The fact that your son opens up and talks to you about everything that is going on at school says a lot about your relationship. You are doing everything you can do for your boy - as someone who has struggled with anxiety I can say that even through the worst panic attacks having your mothers love is invaluable. 

 

I think joining a support group is a really great idea. I'd love to hear how you go with finding one - know that we are here to listen to you. This is a safe space to air out your frustration and find the strength to keep pushing on. You got this! 

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Re: OCD and Anxiety in 15 yr old boy

Thank u. But i feel like a complete failure. Idk why he feels so scared of life. And I feel like I have made life too easy for him and now he’s cracking because he’s facing real world things. My husband says I baby him and he needs to man up. I’m sure that has to do with it too but how do you tell a kid to man up when they have an anxiety problem?
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Re: OCD and Anxiety in 15 yr old boy

Hi there.Was just reading your post about your son. My 16 year daughter also has OCD with reoccurring negative thoughts and depression plus a mood disorder.I can totally understand what you going through and how fustrating it can be. When she is in a bad headspace it impacts the whole family especially her younger sister. Lucky for us we have found a great psychiatrist, psychologist and doctor and a mental health facility that deals with adolescent mental health. She is also on medication but it has taken a few attemptes to find a good balance that works. The clinic that the psychiatrist admits her in has been a God send especially when she has a medication changes its reassuring to know she is being closely monitored incase of any bad side effects. While she is in there she also undergoes counseling sessions every day. It's also been good respite for my husband me and my other daughter. Not sure where your from but is there a facility that offers these kind of services where your son can interact with other teens going through the same thing. The clinic had been a saviour for my daughter and she has found it comforting to know she is not the only teen going through this.
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Re: OCD and Anxiety in 15 yr old boy

Hi @Mummabear43 and thank you for reaching out to share your experiences with @jjlow and our community.

It sounds like your family have been walking along your daughter's recovery journey for quite some time now, and I am very happy to hear that you have found a good psychiatrist and clinic for your daughter's needs Heart I am hearing a lot of hope and optimism in your post, which is so powerful for other parents who are also going through something similar!
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Re: OCD and Anxiety in 15 yr old boy

I understand completely what you're going through. My 16 year old daughter also has intrusive thoughts. She refuses to take any medication because she says it may alter her and she wants to be able to feel and not be numb as the medication makes her feel that way. She walks constantly around the house. She has her rituals she also does. She is seeing a therapist. She was on her way to helping herself when her boyfriend broke up with her. Its devastating going through this horrible heartache she has to go through on top of her OCD and anxiety. My daughter won't even touch me. I haven't even been able to hug her while her heart is breaking. That has been tough.