Advanced search

Mumsnetters aren't necessarily qualified to help if your child is unwell. If you need professional help, please see our mental health webguide

ocd in teenage daughter

(23 Posts)
debz2 Sat 29-Jun-13 01:03:48

My 13 year old daughter was diagnosed with severe OCD when she was 11. She has made huge leaps towards her recovery but life is still very tough for her and the rest of the family. Is anyone else parenting a child with OCD?

Limara Fri 12-Jul-13 00:41:34

Yeah me and its terrible at the moment. Come back to me and we'll chat x

debz2 Mon 15-Jul-13 20:14:12

How old is your child?

clam Mon 15-Jul-13 20:24:53

My 16yo ds has signs of it. I'm not sure at what point it counts as "severe," although he is seeing a counsellor at school.
Would love some advice...

cocolepew Mon 15-Jul-13 20:29:12

My 15 yo DD had it, it is intrusive thoughts with her. She had a break down when she was 11 and had therapy (CBT) which got her over the worst.
She still has bad days but nothing like what it was.

clam Mon 15-Jul-13 20:41:34

We had some of that with intrusive thoughts - he was getting majorly stressed with panic attacks as he felt in a dream-like state and thought that he might do something stupid. That has got much better now with counselling and he has some specific mental/physical exercises to do.

Currently, he's very particular about hand-washing. He gets through about 3 bottles of liquid soap a week. In winter his hands are red-raw. He carries hand-sanitizer everywhere with him. He will not touch toilet doors at school. He cannot go on his ipad unless he has washed his hands, but could happily use someone else's without.

He packs his school back in a certain order, but his bedroom is a tip. Go figure!?

clam Mon 15-Jul-13 20:43:08

Oh, and despite washing his hands all the time, is quite happy to kiss the dog on the mouth!? Bizarre.

cocolepew Mon 15-Jul-13 21:26:21

DDs room is a pig sty too. She occasionally stays into cleanliness obsession but it had never really taken hold. Only when she is stressed do I notice her doing it, or rather she asks me if she will catch anything or should she wash her hands but not actually doing it. She is obsessed with checking her school bag and going to the toilet, in the morning before leaving for school and at bedtime. I think she's scared of having an accident.

She also kisses the dog grin

debz2 Tue 16-Jul-13 10:42:15

If anyone lives in the Manchester area I am starting a support group in September for Parents/carers of people suffering with OCD. If you need contact details for yourself or anyone else let me know.

My daughter's room is also a tip. She doesn't have contamination issues as such (except for meat which she can't eat or even have in the same room!) but she has to make every movement perfect or 'just right' so she repeats the movement of, for example, putting things down. At her worst she was doing these rituals for about 18 hours a day!! Now to avoid that she just drops things or throws things so she doesn't have to worry about putting them down 'perfectly'

CBT and meds have worked for my daughter. She was hospitalised for 8 months and was unable to leave her room at one point but is now living at home and going to school. We are now doing relapse prevention so that it doesn't sneak back. Clam my advice to you is get a clinical diagnosis if you have't already got one then look at the OCDaction website at which has forums, support groups and an advocacy service and lots of really great information. I would be very careful about what type of counselling your son is getting as CBT is the proven method of treating OCD not other things like psychotherapy. The is a checklist as to what you should expect from Proper CBT on the website.

ps my daughter can't feed the dog because she eats meat but she also kisses her!

ToffeeWhirl Thu 01-Aug-13 01:23:59

Hi, debz2. My DS1 (13) is being treated for OCD at the moment. He does rituals and is scared of contamination. His life is very limited at the moment.

debz2 Sun 04-Aug-13 21:48:35

Hi ToffeeWhirl, is he getting any sort of treatment?

ToffeeWhirl Mon 05-Aug-13 00:31:27

Yes, he's having CBT which includes exposure and response prevention. He is also on 40mg per day of fluoxetine. His homework this week is to visit toilets in public places (eg library, dentist) and touch the walls, taps, etc, then see how long he can cope with the anxiety before washing his hands. Am really hoping he can overcome the contamination fears as they prevent him going out (he will only use the loo at home). (They also apparently prevent him loading the dishwasher or emptying his bin hmm).

I'm particularly concerned about his eating at the moment as he is severely underweight (on the first percentile) and often refuses to eat because he worries that the food will make him ill. I keep a food diary and track his calories (without him knowing).

It's good to know that your DD's treatment was successful and that she has been able to go back to school. My DS has been home educated for the past two years, apart from a brief and disastrous attempt to attend secondary school, but he really wants to go back to school in September, if he can manage it.

Did you watch OCD Camp on BBC 3? I saw the first episode this week and found it very moving and informative.

Mumorandom Tue 06-Aug-13 22:03:34

Hi debz2

My DD1 (12) has been seeing Camhs for over a year for eating disorder,anxiety & OCD. Treatment to date is talking-based. She's been assessed for aspergers/high functioning autism but came below the threshold... Apart from rigidity around eating, her OCD issues are around not being able to go to bed/watch tv etc until room tidy & , tapping/touching rituals. She is a perfectionist to nth degree when it comes to homework. OCD & anxiety issues often worsen as she makes changes re her eating.

ToffeeWhirl - feel for you & yr DS on the eating issues. DD1's eating problems are rooted in extreme fear of being sick & loosing control which led her to devise a very rigid eating & drinking plan. But she HAS managed to make changes & hopefully will go on doing so.

Camhs have been quite helpful once we got to see the specialist ED team. I also got some help for me from a local ED charity. But always feel there is more we could be doing, just not sure what.

Will look out for OCD Camp

DD1 also a dog-kisser grin.

galaxy26 Wed 27-Nov-13 12:03:17

My daughter has anxiety disorder and OCD. We have been under CAMHS for 8 years and although she has shown improvement with her anxiety there hasn't been a great deal of improvement from her OCD which dominates her life everyday. She struggled to attend primary school and then had to leave in Year 9 in secondary school to go to a school which has smaller classes and helps them still get an education. She is 16 now and her OCD prevents her from having a social life so she feels very isolated and lonely, this makes her more depressed and heightens the need to do rituals! Everyday is a real challenge not just for my daughter but the whole family as we walk on egg shells trying not to make any situation worse. After attending an OCD event we have now been in touch with the Maudsley Hospital and are waiting for my daughters psychiatrist to refer us which isn't cut and dry because of lack of funding. Does anyone's teenagers with OCD go to any social groups?

Julianic Wed 10-Feb-16 21:12:50

I know its been a while since you posted on OCD but if you could message me I would really appreciate it as we are dealing with a teenage son who sounds very similar to the case you are describing. Did the situation improve with counselling? Was any medication suggested? Advice needed... Thanks

Waitingforsherlock Fri 12-Feb-16 13:34:31

Hi Julianic. What, if any, help are you getting at the moment? Can your ds still attend school? If CAMHS haven't helped can you go back to the GP again? The first thing that I would want is an assessment by a psychologist or psychiatrist to get the correct diagnosis.

Is your ds sitting important exams this year? Has the OCD come about due to an underlying anxiety about something else perhaps?

Julianic Fri 12-Feb-16 20:54:49

Yes he still attending school. He finds it difficult and is often isolated and unhappy. I am sure his anxiety is affected by the pressure of his A levels and the important History coursework he has been working on since September. The anxiety seems to spiral when there are deadlines and as his dyslexia and dyspraxia cause him to really struggle with literacy, he finds school and essay writing etc. more difficult than most. We are taking him to see a psychiatrist next seek, it has taken a long time to find one who specialises in OCD. We have tried CBT counsellors but so far none have helped. It feels like we have been going round in circles.

Waitingforsherlock Sat 13-Feb-16 10:52:04

Hi again. It's really hard isn't it? No one seems to want to take responsibility for solving the problem and everything seems to be left to the parents. My now 13 year old dd was displaying lots of OCD type behaviours last year. She was extremely stressed and it all tied in with the start of her school refusal. Some of her thought processes were very frightening. She couldn't leave the house without performing many rituals which were exhausting everyone. She no longer attends school as that became untenable, ( I'm not suggesting this will happen to your ds), but what I wanted to say was that her OCD rituals have improved no end since her anxiety has reduced. We did talk about reducing the rituals and she would ask me for reassurance about cutting them down. She is certainly not problem -free. I'd love for her to be at school but she cannot cope with that at the moment, but with regard to the OCD there have been great improvements. FWIW, I had postnatal OCD seven years ago after the birth of one of my other dc. It took the form of intrusive thoughts with no outward rituals. It was extremely difficult to live with but I am now completely better, so I hope that gives you some hope.

I think that sertraline can be very helpful with OCD. I didn't take that anti- depressant myself but I dd find the OCD UK website invaluable.

HormonalHeap Tue 16-Feb-16 15:03:43

Another one here with dd 18 who hasn't touched a door handle in 7 years but kisses the dog. Worsens with stress eg tube into London with people caughing/sneezing on her. Tried CBT therapy but useless, dd wants to try hypnotherapy. Unfortunately she has started smoking and I'm wondering if that sadly helps her ocd.

Julianic Tue 16-Feb-16 15:17:19

Thanks so much for your message, its really good to hear you have seen great improvements. We are seeing a specialist tomorrow, we have so much hope vested in this visit. I will look at the OCD UK website too.

Julianic Tue 16-Feb-16 15:21:45

Yes our son won't touch door handles and if he does, he has to immediately wash his hands, and that's even if he touches his own door handle to his bedroom, or the one to our kitchen. It is so sad to see him perform all these rituals. He wasn't engaging in the CBT we were taking him to as he fundamentally feels he's doing the most sensible thing and we're the ones with the problem for not being as afraid of germs as he is. No one in the NHS seems to understand that this illness has such a huge and detrimental effect on young people and those close to them. Unless the NHS diagnose bi-polar or schizophrenia, you really are on your own. We are having to go privately to see the nearest OCD and anxiety specialist in our area as there is nothing else available.

Summer888 Wed 04-May-16 11:34:21

My 11 year old who always had some OCD tendancies spiralled out of control in the space of a couple of weeks 8 months ago. She would no longer touch doorhandles, had to change into clean clothes each time she changed rooms, washed her hands endlessly, developed a fear of shoes and feet and socks, had full on temper tantrum panic attacks if anyone touched her, would no longer touch things like toys or remote controls or ipads unless they were disinfected in front of her eyes with strong disinfectant, would only sit on one chair in our house and no one else could touch it, would have panic attacks in bed late at night and insist on her bed sheets being changed immediately. Our GP offered no help at all except point us in the direction of an expensive mental health clinic that charged £140 per hour and was very far away from us. Instead we found a local CBT practitioner who came to our house once a week for £40 for 5 months and got my daughter back to a near normal state. Out of the blue last week the OCD came back, as bad as it was before. I am so stressed by how hard life is for her that I am permanently tearful. The cost of it is stressful in itself. I don't want her school to be aware of her issues, as she seems to fake her way through the school day but she is very late to school every day as it takes her so long to get out the house (washing hands endlessly, she is convinced her clothes are dirty and has to change them several times, refuses to put on her shoes convinced they are dirty so I have to clean them in front of her). Will she be like this her whole life? She is refusing to see her CBT practitioner and says she was only faking agreeing with her before. I don't want her to take drugs. She is under stress at the thought of leaving her junior school and going to secondary school, which I think triggered this relapse. I can't do anything to lessen that anxiety and she will have far worse stress in life as her life progresses. Does anyone know if this is a form of autism/ aspergers? How do they test for aspergers? In all other respects she is a lovely super bright well behaved studious child adored by her teachers and her BFF. Should I tell the school or keep it quiet - I don't think school would understand and I don't think they can help her. Academically she is finds school work easy. I don't want teachers thinking less of her. Has anyone else found that school knowing helped their child or hindered them?

INeedNewShoes Wed 04-May-16 11:45:45

I fear this is going to sound trivialising, but just in case it's helpful to anyone here...

I've had an issue with OCD since my late teens (it started with checking hair straighteners were off), but thankfully nowhere near as severe as some of you are experiencing. But one thing that led to marked improvement in mine was being completely open about it, talking about it, laughing about it and allowing others to laugh at my ridiculous behaviours and talk about it openly. During the time that I hid my checking behaviours because I was embarrassed/ashamed the problem got progressively worse and the more I tried not to do the behaviours in front of people the more panic-attack inducing the problem became.

I used to experience severe stress (breaking out in a sweat, raised heart rate etc.) on leaving the house (going through checking rituals - taps off, cooker off, etc.) which would take half an hour and involve reentering the house multiple times and a vicious cycle of checking things and then believing that in the course of checking something I may have knocked it so then checking again.

Since being open about my problems and chatting about them with friends and family, I now find the whole thing more manageable and although I think I'll never leave behind my checking behaviours, they're far more under control and have much less impact on my life than before.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now