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To think that my Mum has OCD and needs urgent help?

(16 Posts)
VengefulSquirrel Thu 13-Sep-07 19:40:49

My Mum has always been an obsessive handwasher, something that my sister and I accepted as normal as we grew up with it. Over the years, new quirks have been added - 'Aargh - you touched the phone, now wash your hands' 'Don't tread on the stairs in bare feet!' 'Get away from my washing!' etc etc. She wears surgical gloves in my house, she says this is due to dry skin but I am not so sure.

Last weekend I stayed at M & D's for the first time in ages. I got some photo albums out of the study to look at and my Mum went BALISTIC. She partially confessed to having a 'thing' about the study, i.e she does not go in there anymore, or take or use things from the room.

WTF?!?!?! THis is part of her house! I am so worried. Now is this just a good housewife, or is this OCD? Before I call my sister and panic that things are a little out of control? And does it matter as long as she is happy?

BananaPudding Thu 13-Sep-07 19:42:57

I think that's a bit strange, but as long as it isn't hurting anyone it wouldn't be a problem.

Although, it might be severely impacting her life i.e. she can't go out, shake hands with someone etc.

Hmm. Now I'm not sure. Sorry for being unhelpful blush

vacua Thu 13-Sep-07 19:45:50

Doesn't sound like the behaviour of a happy person to me, but 'urgent help' probably isn't called for either. Why not read up on OCD and try having a chat with her about it? I've got a feeling it's one of those things that gets worse at times of stress so perhaps that's a potential starting point for the conversation.

VengefulSquirrel Thu 13-Sep-07 19:57:31

I said to her I thought it was like a war between the good and bad parts of the house and she agreed with me, i.e. keeping the good bits clean...that just didn't sound right.

It's just that she's always been like this to some extent so I just wondered whether other folk saw this as at all within the parameters of 'normal' behaviour.

vacua Thu 13-Sep-07 20:02:59

It does sound as though things are getting worse and you are worried, you could try www.ocduk.org for information/support.

beansprout Thu 13-Sep-07 20:04:20

It doesn't sound right. I hope you can find the right support.

VengefulSquirrel Thu 13-Sep-07 20:05:26

Thank you for the link, Vacua.

I just can't believe what a bad state she has got into. Her hands are all cracked and bleeding from the washing.

3andnomore Thu 13-Sep-07 20:05:36

Hm, don't relaly have OCD experience, but from what I have read about it, your mum does sound like there are some ocd issues...am pretty sure there are different levels of this.
I did actually, at one point, stumble over a very good link...will see if I can dig it out.
( I was reading up about it, as at one point I was a bit worried about my ys behaviour.)

3andnomore Thu 13-Sep-07 20:06:33

Have a look here

VengefulSquirrel Thu 13-Sep-07 20:10:49

That was really interesting.

What does anyone think about the 'bad' parts of the house? Any experience of this?

vacua Thu 13-Sep-07 20:16:28

I haven't got any relevant experience of OCD but I do think it sounds as though your mum needs some support, particularly support to talk to someone who can help. It must be difficult for you too, I mean what do you do/say when your mum puts surgical gloves on? I wouldn't know how best to respond to that sort of thing.

VengefulSquirrel Thu 13-Sep-07 20:18:46

Well to start with I felt really offended. She gets them in multipacks from Waitrose!

But I love her so much and I totally accept her situation, I just don't want it to spiral into total craziness without us girls helping her. She is very private about it tho;, so will prob tell us to push off anyway. I don't think that she can help any of it.

Imagine having a room in your house where you can't go anymore!?!?! All of our family photos are in there and she can't look at them ever again! Including her wedding photos.

3andnomore Thu 13-Sep-07 20:34:00

Not sure if you have seen the movie "As good as it gets"...now I know it's a movie, but to someone as little informed about it as I am, it seemed really interesting and informative...obviously there are comedy moments in the movie...but well, nevertheless pretty eyeopening.

Not sure about the bad place in the house....do you know if anyhting bad ever happened to your mum in there or if there could be some sort of explanation to her aversion to that room (maybe your Dad used to spend to much time in there and she feels is a room of seperation, or somehting like that...) which is made worse by her tendencies...
just wildly guessing here, btw.

3andnomore Thu 13-Sep-07 20:34:35

You may also want to consider putting this thread or one along these lines into the Health section...

VengefulSquirrel Thu 13-Sep-07 22:21:36

Thanks, 3andnomore. To be honest, there are plenty of comedy moments in RL with me and my Mum, lol! Thanks for your suggestions. I have yet to get to the bottom of 'why', and perhaps I never will. Mum said to me today that she couldn't tell me that.

mamadoc Thu 13-Sep-07 23:12:20

Usually OCD is a lifelong thing (starts teenage years) and does get worse at times of stress. People with OCD know their fears are irrational and are embarrassed about them but can't help them so probably why she can't tell you why.
Cognitive behavioural therapy and certain kinds of antidepressant can help if she wants to do it. It is hard for family to know what to do for the best unless its been agreed on. If you go along with it eg don't go in study it is easier in the short term but long term makes it harder to break out of. I would try having a conversation saying what you have noticed and does she think it is a problem would she like help with it?

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