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Bland
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18 Apr 2006, 11:07 pm

Does anyone here with a formal diagnosis of Obsessive/Compulsive Disorder take medications or natural remedies for it and does it help? Please be specific.

My 12 yr. old AS son has become so obsessive about nonproductive things that he cannot recieve any information. He is not learning. He is also miserable since he has a negative outlook on life and is in the throes of puberty. Since nothing I say or do seems to help much, his father and I are considering drugs even though we do not like the idea.


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walk-in-the-rain
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18 Apr 2006, 11:38 pm

I have a formal diagnosis of OCD. My husband has actually made me go to see someone about it a couple of times and I did try meds but I had very little success with medication or therapy. At the time I was prescribed Zoloft - in too high a dose and ended up in the ER. Then was a try on Paxil which I quit after several doses because it seemed to increase my depression. So, back to the Zoloft and Xanax was added to even out what was considered the agitating effects of the Zoloft. That still did not do enough and it seemed like on the Zoloft I was going between being very agitated and very tired so a seizure med was added but the side effects (including drowsiness) was too much. I stopped all meds after 2 years and then went to see a so-called OCD expert who despite ALL my protesting the use of any SSRIs insited on prescribing Prozac so I left his office. I have done some recent research that suggests adding of all things a low dose anti-pychotic to the SSRIs to get a better response. That to me is not at all appealing. If anything I would say the Xanax was by far the best medication.

Also, please do not let anyone convince you that your son is not being compliant if he does not seem to improve with the medication. Also it needs to be looked into whether or not it is rigid thinking due to AS or a true OCD. I wonder now if I have a true OCD because often the person with OCD knows the OCD issues are "silly". However, some of the things I do seem to be related to strict rule following which may be more related to the rigid thinking of AS.



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19 Apr 2006, 12:11 am

Thanks for your input. My son does not seem to understand how obsessing on soft drinks is not productive and that other people do not think about it all of the time as he does. I wondered if there is any difference in the diagnosis and treatment of OCD present in AS dx'd persons and the OCD present in non AS dx'd persons.


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earthmonkey
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19 Apr 2006, 5:22 pm

The soft drink obsessing you mentioned does seem more like AS-related obsessing than obsessive compulsive behavior. OCD, at least as far as I know, usually has to do with persistent thoughts that won't go away (like germs or the thought of something horrible happening, like a fire or burglary) that the person knows is irrational, but must nonetheless perform rituals to ease the mind of these persisting thoughts.

I have no history of OCD, only of AS, and I know that sometimes I'll talk about something, something that is perhaps insignificant to others, but at the time I can't realize this possibility, and I'll talk about it for a LONG time, and my friends just kind of stand there listening. It is okay, though. They know about AS and understand, and it is not too awkward, and nowadays (though this is relatively recent for me) I have thought about AS enough to in most cases realize the situation and say something like, "I'm sorry, I must be boring you with this." But, keep in mind, AS has been my obsession for the last three years, and even now it is extremely difficult to catch myself BEFORE going on a long tangent.

I was once on a tricyclic antidepressant, but it was for nerve pain and not anything psychological. If you do go the meds route, which although I do not know you or your situation I would probably not go, just based upon the writing I have read in this post, I would recommend being VERY cautious about what psychiatrist you see, as I have heard all too many stories of people who went to psychiatrists who made decisions that were detrimental to the person's physical and/or psychological health, but just didn't see the signs that that person might not have been the best person to see. Like, when after a few weeks I told the neurologist who prescribed the medication about the side effects, like I felt so dizzy on the sixth floor of my school that I was convinced that I was going to fall off, the blurring vision, the constant dizziness, that eating a normal amount I could not function in school, and my grades had been slipping upon starting the medication and I couldn't afford a drop in school, severe headaches when I had never had a serious headache without something like lack of sleep or caffeine causing it, and a lot of other stuff I can't remember right now, but he increased the dosage.

I got so fed up with the stuff that was happening (a lot of other disturbing effects happened, but I won't go into that here) that I was considering quitting it. The label said it wasn't habit-forming, so I thought it couldn't be that bad going off it at once. NEVER EVER CONSIDER THIS. When I stopped it, I had severe withdrawal, like every side effect but MUCH WORSE. My left side of my body would move involuntarily, or just the left side of my face, particularly when I had eaten only a normal amount of food. I felt compelled to go back on the medication, and though it would have been a good idea to take like half a dose to go off slowly, I was so afraid of becoming dependent on it. I've felt compelled to go back on it on and off in the last year since I first took it.

So, yes, you have to be very careful with this stuff (but that's a rather obvious oversimplification), even when the person prescribing it seems to have little or no worry about the effects of it. I dunno. I've had some very serious psychological problems that I've been able to address without drugs, but every person is different, and it's not like people can just "get over" some things through willpower alone or anything, but it helps to have that, too, even when a situation requires pharmaceutical intervention.


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Bland
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19 Apr 2006, 10:33 pm

Thanks, earthmonkey. We are generally a drugless family and do not like the idea of pumping chemicals into a body that is already going through so many chemical changes during adolescence. It's just that we are getting discouraged watching our son be so unhappy and obsessive. He really gets stuck on things (usually negative) and no amount of our talking nor listening to nor loving him nor redirecting him will work. He even commented the other day that maybe he shouldn't exist. I've questioned him specifically and extensively about his days at school and I've talked to his teachers and friends and it seems that everything at school is okay. I just don't understand unless it's chemical (physical). I do know that I went through a very erratic puberty and almost ruined my life. That scares me.


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21 Apr 2006, 1:45 am

The hormonal craziness going on during puberty can often trigger depression even in a good environment... Depression can be entirely chemical; this is quite common, especially among folks with AS. I had depression as a teen myself, and it has grown to be a life-long problem; I've learned to live with it, for the most part.

What does your son tell you when you ask him why he seems so miserable and negative?


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Bland
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21 Apr 2006, 8:45 am

It is difficult for him to tell me. I think he's confused about his feelings and why he feels the way he does so when he tries to explain he ends up getting frustrated and saying, "Never mind!" I've asked him very specific questions about his day, school, and how he feels but to no avail. He says that he's unhappy because he's too tall for his age. (he's fixated on this and for a while thought that he must have flunked a grade but he didn't!) He also talks about how his plans never work out. He makes unrealistic plans and when we tell him "no" he can't seem to accept that nor will an alternate plan be accepted. One of his recurring requests is to bicycle on the highway to the next town which is about 20 miles away. I told him he's going to have to wait until he's 16 to do this and he went into a rage. He also had a hard time understanding why he couldn't drive a car and obsessed on that for about a year. (that was when he was 11) I can understand how he feels but I can't understand the way he deals with it. He literally will grumble and complain for HOURS and will not do anything else. He cannot seem to find constructive things to do and refuses to do anything we suggest. He almost needs structured after school activities (with others, not family) every day in order to be occupied and productive but there is no such thing. He can't play sports because he's not coordinated or strong enough and he refuses to play by the rules. (he can't understand the necessity of rules in sports)


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"Honey, would you buy me some boobles for my 40th b-day?" "No way, they're too expensive. Your own baubles will have to do."