My son's ocd: Hi all, ive taken to this because I... - OCD-UK

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My son's ocd

Mumofboys4 profile image

Hi all, ive taken to this because I feel completely helpless.... my son has severe OCD, he is away from me at the moment but rings every day asking me to help him and he doesn't knkw what to do anymore.... he spends hours washing his hands, tapping things, washing "contaminated" objects and can not seem to get a grip on it at the moment, he spent 3 hours washing his hands and a cup the other night before he could rest and get in to bed. I've tried telling him about exposure and he's fully aware that nothing will happen when he tries to ignore the thoughts but its the thoughts that are driving him insane, he said its literally like someone tapping him constantly... any help for him would be sooo appreciated... thank you

5 Replies

Have him read posts on this forum. Just reaching out to others with similar thoughts and problems can really help him. Also try to get him some therapy or books to read on OCD. He is not alone and can get better.

Having the support of his mother is so important! So please don't underestimate what you're already doing for him just by being there for him and being prepared to listen.

He really needs to get an appointment with his doctor, for a start. Is he on medication? It can help greatly in dampening down the worst of the OCD. That makes the exposure therapy easier to do. He should also get a referral for CBT if he hasn't had one.

Exposure therapy isn't easy, and it involves many failures. Often the patient will resist the temptation to redo a particular thing and then feel they have no option but to give into the OCD. But each failure is not a waste. Each attempt to resist is another small triumph in the battle against OCD. So do tell him not to feel discouraged.

I recognize the scenario you describe - I haven't actually spent 3 hours washing a cup but I've done things that are similar! The more you repeat something the less it feels 'right' and the more you feel you have to repeat it! Taking a break of 5 or 10 minutes can calm you down. Then any repeats will be easier to do, if you still feel you have to do them.

It sounds as though you've already read up about OCD, so you already understand a lot. Having OCD is a bit like having a faulty house or car alarm that goes off needlessly. It's hard to ignore and you know there is nothing to worry about, but the rational part of the brain is drowned out by the alarm bells!

If he hasn't got a self help book, then suggest he gets one or two. Many good ones around. I've been helped a lot by Overcoming Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. The OCD Workbook is also good and has a helpful section for friends and family of someone with OCD. I don't know how old your son is, but if he is still a child or teenager there are quite a few books aimed at young people with OCD.

All the best, and do post here if you feel you need to ask any more questions, or just to vent!

Hi, it's bad enough suffering with the evil effects of OCD but actually watching someone you love go through this, must be so horrific 😢I'm 45 now, but had OCD since I was 13. I'm on sertraline for my anxiety and I have just completed 12 sessions of CBT.

If your son hasn't already, may I suggest speaking to his doctor & ask about CBT. When your in the right mind set, it really is good and extremely effective. I used to hide mine from EVERYONE and can't believe I've lived with it for 32 yrs of my life before I got help! There are also some great books. Break free from OCD is a great one to have. Your Son is so lucky to have a lovely, supportive Mum. Always here if you need a chat, Take care.

Kind Regards, Anna 🙂

Thank you all so much for your support , my parents keep telling me that I'm doing brilliant by just listening to him and advising the best I can (suffer with health anxiety myself 😔) so I know a little about exposure to the anxiety its self but still feel so helpless and woukd do anything to take his place even tho it is a horrid thing to go through. He has spoken to a mental health person and they have suggested medication but he decided against it at first but he says that he thinks he needs to try something so he is going to seek help regarding that, he's just worried because they did tell him it can make it worse for a few weeks whilst your body gets uses to it. I have gone through exposure with him and he said he is trying with that, ive xplained that it will feel uncomfortable but just to learn to sit with it and just keep going, he's such a strong minded person (he's 23) so to see him going through this is just devastating

Thank you all again soo so much ❤

It's just occurred to me that if your son doesn't like the thought of medication, he could try inositol. Another member of this forum mentioned it a while ago and I did a bit of investigation. It's is also known as vitamin B8 and is safe to take.

Large quantities are needed for OCD - 18g a day - and like conventional meds it takes about six weeks to start working, but unlike them, it doesn't make you feel worse in the meanwhile. It is not yet considered a standard treatment, but studies have found it very effective, particularly in bad cases of OCD.

It is available without a prescription, over the counter, and some health food shops stock it. Don't get the one with choline as the choline isn't needed and the dosage of inositol is too low. It can be got over the internet (make sure it is from a reputable supplier). It might be worth a try.

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