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Storygirl

Needing to lock doors -- OCD?

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Sigh.

DS14 has been needing to check the locks on the doors for the past few months. I don't think it's every night, though he could be doing it when I'm not paying attention. He will come downstairs after he has gone to bed to check, if he didn't do it earlier. He even locks the little locks on the screen doors that we usually ignore, and then I can't figure out how to get them open, which is annoying.

He has a long list of diagnoses -- NVLD, ADHD, SPD, Tourettes, GAD (though he no longer seems anxious about most other things), and LDs. I'm sure I'm forgetting something. Anyway, there always seems to be something more, something new going on with him, and now I'm worried about OCD. He is not concerned about germs at all and does not seem to count things.

He's always obsessive with his interests and has perseverative thinking. I remember asking the early intervention people if he might be at risk for OCD when he was around age 2, because he would be so focused on things.

What should I be on the look out for?

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Lock checking can be an OCD trait.

If he is only checking at night and not needing to check multiple times a night it may not be a concern, maybe just indicative of some anxiety.

Compulsive apologizing is how OCD has manifested in some of my kids.

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Has anything happened to flare up anxiety lately? Antibiotics, major changes? How's it going at his new school?

You always have the back-up plan to do fresh psych evals and re-examine the ASD question. They can go ASD + OCD, sure. If it hasn't pushed over into OCD before, maybe there's some stress and with some techniques to lower it (or meds or supplements) you can get it back down.

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He's liking school, especially band, and has some friends. I think he has less stress over school now, actually. And he rarely has homework, so that after school time has been less stressful, as well. I'm not sure what set off the locking checking thing.

I don't see OCD like behaviors in him throughout the day, other than his typical pattern of asking the same questions over and over and over again, but that is because he wants a different answer. But the lock checking thing is worrisome to me, so I'm wondering if it could be the beginning of something. I asked him today how he feels when he wants to check the locks -- if he is afraid or worried, or if he can't stop thinking about it. I asked if he keeps thinking about the locks once he has checked them, and he says no, he just wants to be sure they are locked, and then he stops thinking about it.

We told him that he is not allowed to check the locks, because DH and I do it. I don't know if that is the right approach, but I'm trying to head off the problem. It will be interesting to see how he responds to that. Perhaps he will be able to let it go, or perhaps he will feel more anxious. We shall see.

I feel like it is anxiety right now. I worry about it being a red flag, though.

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I have OCD and so do two of my kids. If he is only checking the locks once before bed and then stops thinking about it, I wouldn't worry about it. If he starts checking them repetitively over and over again each night, that's when I would get him some help.

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1 hour ago, Storygirl said:

We told him that he is not allowed to check the locks, because DH and I do it.

Or maybe do it together? Telling him he can't doesn't address the underlying problems or help him find better strategies to deal with what he's feeling. 

1 hour ago, Storygirl said:

I feel like it is anxiety right now. I worry about it being a red flag, though.

So then what do you want to do? Yes it's anxiety, and yes it's a very poor position to be in to be within 3-4 years of exiting the system and not have your emotions and self-awareness under control. Is it an option to update evals and go at private interventions again? (in that order)

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I don't know about checking the locks together... because he would still be doing it, and I'm wanting to find a way to break the habit before it becomes ingrained. Tonight he did not check the locks (because he knew we didn't want him to), but he talked about it a couple of times. Talking about it seemed to be enough for him today.

DH and I have talked about doing some further evaluations in specific areas, but we wouldn't likely do the whole NP thing over again, just look for some new answers in specific areas.

 

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On 11/26/2018 at 3:31 PM, Selkie said:

I have OCD and so do two of my kids. If he is only checking the locks once before bed and then stops thinking about it, I wouldn't worry about it. If he starts checking them repetitively over and over again each night, that's when I would get him some help.

I am "familiar" with OCD as well and I agree with this post.  Drawing less attention to the thing bothering him can sometimes be helpful.  Bringing an OCD thing up can sometimes exacerbate the anxiety about it at least for a short time.  Someone can have OCD without having a full on physical manifestation of it..like constant hand washing or door looking.  So sounds like your son probably has it to some degree.  Hopefully it just stays bubbling under the surface and never really turns into anything major for him.  You probably already know this since he has Tourette's too, but calcium and magnesium are helpful supplements for OCD, plus all the normal diet stuff which I'm sure you probably do as well...low sugar, no artificial color, little to no preservatives, etc.

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