Saturday, December 14, 2013

OCD to benefit my son

I generally don't think of OCD as being beneficial in any way, but perhaps it is.  When I obsess about something, and I often do, I "get 'er done."  I don't know if this is my coping mechanism, but I don't just sit and stew; I take action.  

The other day I called a children's therapy practice about getting G some occupational therapy for his sensory issues (the food textures, the clothing/shoes stuff, etc).  But January seems a terribly long time to wait for someone to give us some tips for helping him.

It occurred to me that G's issues might not just be sensory.  Perhaps a large part of his problem at the moment is the anxiety of December.  When I bought G presents for his birthday in September and told him I had surprises for him, he lost it.  Crying and very upset.  He begged me to tell him what I had bought him for his birthday, and so I did because it just wasn't worth him being so off the chain.  It dawned on me that maybe he is experiencing this same thing with Christmas looming.  Plus, his whole routine of school has been messed up these two weeks.  Two snow days (non-consecutive) and his class preparing for a musical performance in front of the school.  I should know how anxiety-provoking changes in the routine are because I suffer from this same problem tremendously (even on medication).  

So I called the mental health side of our health insurance to see what I needed to do to have G see a therapist.  I see a psychiatrist for my OCD, and I have lived the benefits of therapy, so I thought maybe we should do this while we wait for January.  

Yesterday I spoke with a psychologist who will evaluate G this week.  She said the difficult part with doing specific psychological tests on a child his age is that she could give him one diagnosis based on those tests and then in a couple years, when he, his emotions and brain have changed, he could have an entirely different diagnosis.  I told her I really don't care what his diagnosis is; I just want tools to help him and us cope better with whatever it is that he is experiencing.  

The evaluation she will give him will be less time-consuming and costly.  Based on our discussion of G's behavior and difficulties over the phone, she said it sounds a lot like OCD. 

I asked her whether I should keep our appointment with our family medicine doc this week to get an order for OT.  She said when a child has sensory issues like G's, she does recommend OT, so we will proceed, and she will work with whomever does the OT to coordinate his care. 

I feel better having done all this until I start to question whether I'm just overreacting to G's behavior.  Am I making more of an issue than what it really is?  

But since May, I've had 2 different people ask me whether I've considered having G seen by a professional, either because of the sensory issues or because of the tantrums because things aren't "just right" for him.  And if his behavior (and/or my being upset as a result of his behavior) is bad enough that other people have questioned it, then maybe I'm not just making a mountain out of a molehill.

When I went through my breakdown episode in 2004 and thought I was going crazy, someone said to me, "If you suspect you are going crazy, you probably aren't."  I try to remember that when I have moments of "Am I engaging in Munchhausen by Proxy Syndrome? Am I making up G's stuff for attention to my own mental health?"  The fact that I'm worried about engaging in the behavior hopefully means I am not.  

My issues make it harder for me to handle G's issues, and I need help.  OCD is making it easier for me to find that help.  

Obsessive persistence.  It's a good thing.

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