Peek A Hoo

Monday, June 23, 2008

Following the trail of thoughts

Randy & I are both reading the book: "Talking Back to OCD" by John S. March, M.D. (Chief of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Duke University Medical Center). This book was recommended by Bug's Psychiatrist, so we bought it and have been working our way through it. With the helpful insight that the book gives on OCD, we are slowly seeing some of the severity of how Bug is affected by this disease. Here is an example of something that Randy and I are connecting the dots on:
Bedtime
1) Bug must have a night light and his "fish" light on (OCD tells him "if you don't have the lights on, the monsters will get you!")
2) All of his stuffed animals need to be around him while he sleeps in a specific order for "protection" (OCD says "you need all 31 stuffed animals just so in order to have comfort")
3) He needs his cat in the bedroom at night to help hunt the spiders that OCD tell him are crawling on his floor and in his bed.
4) Bug doesn't want to sleep in his bed at night - he feels more comfortable on the floor now.
5) Recently, it is the TV that has to be on (OCD says "your brain can't relax if you don't watch some TV in the night.")
6) Bug comes out at least once, usually 2-4 times, each night saying how hungry he is. (Even though he eats a full dinner, dessert, and a bedtime snack before bed.) We are learning that this, too, is triggered by OCD. (OCD tells him "I'm bored, lets eat...if you don't you will starve to death!")

So, OK, we are connecting some of the dots...now what?!?
Step 1: Figure out what things are Bug and what things are OCD -- learn to separate them and treat them as just that...2 different "beings" so to speak.
Not as easy as it sounds! It is hard to tell if the melt down that had Bug crumpled on the floor crying over being told no video games is actually him throwing a fit or is it OCD related?? (Because we have learned that being "entertained" all of the time is part of his OCD sometimes.)

Alright, I am exhausted just thinking about all of this. I need to get to bed. **yawn**

2 comments:

Shanda said...

Does the OCD make him a clean freak? Does the house have to be in perfect order, or all of his room? I wonder how all of those things will effect him as an adult. It won't be long and you'll be the one writing a book about it!

Engineer said...

LOL - I have a feeling that Randy and I will have a vast knowledge of this disease before it is all said and done!
No, Bug doesn't have any "cleaning" compulsions but certain things have to be "just so" - like his stuffed animals being arranged around him at night. OCD is like anything addictive though - the more Bug complies with what OCD wants him to do, the more OCD wants him to do...so it will progressively get worse if we don't get it under control now. (Many people with "classic" OCD as adults started out like Bug is now but they didn't have the knowledge or help to control it, so it worsened to the point of counting or cleaning everything , etc.)