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Missmom

Book recomendations please

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If anyone can reccomend any books on helping treat OCD I would appreciate hearing from you. My ds will be 14 in a few weeks so not exactly dealing with a child. Here is a brief background. My son presented sudden onset tics with a strep infection several years ago. He had always presented with mild OCD but it was mild and did not interrupt any normal life. Looking back he probably had had a couple of pandas flairs when he was younger with strep infections but I did not recognize it until the tics started. I was fortunate enough to find great doctors who diagnosed pandas and started continuous antibiotic treatment. He greatly improved after that. Now that everything else is almost under control we are left with the anxiety, irrational thoughts, and OCD. He can function as normal during the day but at night before bed the real anxiety sets in. He has to check on the (important) things in his life such as phone, golf clubs, computer, etc.... He has to make sure everything is where it should be before he can sleep. Make sure he has not lost anything, This takes about 20 extra minutes. He also worries that he thinks out loud during the day and people are going to think he is weird. I have to reassure him he does not think out loud. Finally, then he can relax and fall asleep.

 

His doctor has said if I feel this disruppts his life then to call her and she will prescribe a low dose Zoloft. I have not wanted to try this yet as I am afraid it could trigger even worse thoughts. We have also never consulted a therapist as I don't need all the extra expense that would incur. Even with insurance the co-pays and deductables can add up. I would like to try to help him myself before any of this escalates and becomes worse.

 

If there are some books out there any of you can reccomend on how to help him I would appreciate your advice. I have asked him to let me "check" his things for him so he can get some sleep and he has agreed to let me do some of his "checks" for him. I am sure this is probably not the right way to go about helping him get past this but in the short term it helps him get to bed earlier. Before I try giving him meds or expensive therapy I would like some guidance on how to appropriately handle this.

 

Thanks, I am headed to the bookstore this weekend.

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The best book out there for teens is John March's "Talking Back to OCD" http://www.amazon.com/Talking-Back-OCD-Program-Parents/dp/1593853556/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1396089589&sr=8-1&keywords=john+march+talking+back You should read it as well, as it does a good job of explaining the parent's role in this - your job is to become the coach - NOT do the hard work for him. He has to own the problem.

 

Some of the rituals your son is engaging in are "reasonable" in that we all do a bit of checking at bedtime - are the doors locked, is the coffee pot set up, etc. But when you need to check more than once, or when the rituals interfere with moving on, then it's a problem. I personally would not get involved in performing his rituals for him. It's not your role. Instead, he should make a list of the important things that need to be checked - is his phone charged and in its proper place, are his morning things ready to go, etc. If he needs his golf clubs for practice tomorrow, its ok to check that they're where they should be. If he's not using his clubs tomorrow, then he needs to agree in advance that it's something he does not need to check on as part of a ritual. He needs to learn to face the discomfort that comes from denying a ritual and over time, that discomfort loses its grip on him. He should also agree to start his "reasonable" checklist at a time other than bedtime so that it doesn't become a pre-requisite for sleep. Do it an hour prior, or after dinner or break the list into parts - check the backpack once when done with homework, then 30 min later, check the phone - once - before heading in to brush teeth, etc. By breaking up the ritual into small steps done at different times of the evening, it can loosen the power of the ritual. He can make a written list and check things off, but he cannot go back and re-check later in the evening. You get the idea. The book will do a better job of explaining.

 

YOUR job is to support him, be his coach. Not to become part of the rituals. Otherwise you'll get "Mom, did you check the phone? And seeking reassurance will suddenly get woven into the dance. Then ultimately, he'll probably still want to check for himself.

 

I understand the reluctance to turn to a therapist due to expense but I'd give yourself a set time frame and if you're still dealing with this in 3 or 4 months, get professional help and make sure the therapist is specifically experienced in ERP. The book will help you have a better idea of what to be looking for. The longer it goes on, the more entrenched it becomes.

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Thanks, I knew I probably was not helping at all by doing some of the checks for him but I got so frustrated by watching him I did not know what else to do. I will get that book and I like your idea of having him spread it out throughout the evening. Hopefully the book along with some of these ideas will help. You are right some of these are normal, I check things throughout the day, but it seems like some are starting to turn into rituals and that is why I am concerned. I have not checked, but I am pretty sure we would have to travel to find a therapist who knows ERP. We live in a small southern town without those kinds of resources usually available. We travel to see our pandas doc about once every 6 months. I can't imagine traveling for therapy as well.

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Dr. Chansky's book is so good that we found out where she practices, and now drive 3+ hours so she can be our daughter's CBT doctor. "Freeing Your Child from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: A Powerful, Practical Program for Parents of Children and Adolescents" is a great book. the link for Amazon is:

 

http://www.amazon.com/Freeing-Your-Child-Obsessive-Compulsive-Disorder/dp/0812931173/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1396926565&sr=1-4&keywords=tamar+chansky

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Thank you, I am in the middle of reading "talking back to OCD" right now. I got the e book on my I pad but wish I had ordered the paper book so I could write notes, highlight, turn down pages, etc... I will order dr. Chanskys book as well and will definitely get the paper copy this time. Maybe by the time I finish this book the other will arrive. I am open to all suggestions. The more I read, the more I can see that my son has been suffering with this for a while. Thanks again.

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