Need help with son who has OCD

New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
[ << Previous Thread | Next Thread >> ]

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1257
   Posted 2/2/2009 8:29 PM (GMT -6)   
I posted on the epilepsy forum but I rarely get any answers and not much help so I am asking my friends on this forum to see if you can help me. My 35 yr old son lives with me.  He has epilepsy. It is very much under control, he has a steady job which he has kept for 10 yrs and he drives. The problem is that starting this year he has almost always been late for work. The reason is he takes forever to get dressed in the morning.  He gets up at 5:15 AM and has to be at work at 8 AM and it is only a 10 min drive from our house.He has probably been on time 3 times since Aug. His problem I think is OCD. He takes a shower for 20-30 min and uses almost a whole bar of soap every day! He doesn't understand that more soap does not mean cleaner. He has other cleaning habits I won't mention but his whole getting dressed process takes him more than 2 hrs. His answer to the problem is that he will now get up at 4 AM.  He needs lots of sleep as an epileptic and I told him getting up so early is foolish.  What is he going to do if that isn't enough time - don't go to bed and start getting dressed 6 hrs before work. He is a teaching assistant and the kids adore him and the staff like him. But I don't think if they realize how late he is everyday that they will keep him. This will mean he loses his health insurance which he desperately needs.  His copays on his meds are $300 a month. They would be over $1000 without the insurance. I tell him he will destroy his life if he loses his job but it doesn't seem to sink in. All he cares about is being clean and performing his rituals.This has put so much stress on me I have trouble functioning most days. I have sent away for info on OCD to give to him but I don't know if he will read it.  I am working with an epilesy counselor to see how I can help him but so far I am failing. How can I get him to understand the importance of being on time? And who is supposed to help him when the bottom drops out - me? I don't think I will be able to take the strain . I don't know even what I am asking but if anyone has an idea or suggestion that might help I would really appreciate it. Teling him to move out isn't the answer because he is not at all independent and wouldn't know what to do. I may have to put him in a home for disabled. sad
So stressed and not sleeping,

getting by
Forum Moderator

Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 42536
   Posted 2/2/2009 8:42 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Aurora,

I am sorry to hear about your son's condition. I know that ocd is hard to handle. My daughter in law works with ocd students. I can ask her what she would suggest. I am sure that this job means the world to him in many ways and I would hate to see him lose it. All I know is to keep stressing how important it is for him to be on time. I know that his rituals are important to him. Do you think he needs a medication adjustment? Have you talked to his doctor about the ocd? If you gave him a time limit in the bathroom, would that upset him? I know that you are doing the best you can, I am praying for you.

Hugs, Karen
  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1257
   Posted 2/2/2009 8:50 PM (GMT -6)   

Karen, thanks for your help. If you can find out any info I would be grateful.  The meds he is on are the best ones for him. He can't take an a/d med that treats ocd because they add to his seizures.  All I can do if pray and hope he will understand the importance of the job.  I only wish he truly got how bad it would be if he lost the job. Why does life have to be so hard. Just when I think things are going better I get knocked down again. And Karen thanks for being my friend when I need one so badly.

Many hugs,



New Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 2/2/2009 9:37 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Aurora! How stressful for you, I am so sorry. I have OCD tendencies myself. I say tendencies because I have gotten them in check enough that they don't completely rule my life any longer. How? Oh, that's hard. I know that CBT (Cognitive Behavior Therapy) and exposure therapy helps. I didn't enlist the help of a professional in this way, but if that's possible in your situation that is the best route. Particularly since your son has epilepsy in addition to the OCD. What I did and have always done is read a lot. I understood the concepts of CBT and exposure therpy from extensive reading and just kind of did it myself. I would ask myself, "what is the worst thing that will happen if I don't do X right now." and I would force myself to forego the ritual. Over time it became easier. The self administered "treatment" caused me a lot of anxiety though. The need to perform these rituals is so overwhelming it can't be explained to someone who doesn't suffer from them. I still have OCD when it comes to cleaning, but I CAN leave the house if I don't do X and that never used to be the case. Try some of the following links for help with OCD. I feel so much for you and your son and pray you find relief.

Positive thoughts.

Cognitive Behavior Therapy Center for OCD & Anxiety

Obsessive Compulsive Anonymous

Obsessive Compulsive Foundation
P.O. Box 961029
Boston, Mass. 02196
(617) 973-5801

OCD Recovery Centers of America

OCD Online
Depression, Anxiety, Panic Attacks
Keep moving forward in a positive direction . . .

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1257
   Posted 2/2/2009 10:11 PM (GMT -6)   

Hi Greatpretender, It is nice to meet someone who understands where I am coming from.  At some point the epilepsy counselor I am working with will also see my son and she knows a lot about OCD so I am hoping she can get him to see that he has this disorder and it can take over his life.  Thank you so much for all the information and websites where I can get help and information.  I am hoping that armed with a lot of info I can get my son to see that he doesn't have to live the way he is. I know that is not easy but I am praying he will be receptive to some of it.  Again thank you so much for your reply and for caring.  I wish you the best.  You certainly have done a lot to help yourself and that is very admirable. Take care and I hope we can talk again.

Many hugs,


Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 2/3/2009 11:11 AM (GMT -6)   


I am so sorry this is happening.  I do know that OCD is usually considered an anxiety issue as we have many posted in Aniety.

I know that meds are helpful and perhaps your son needs an adjustment in his meds.  Of course I realize med adjustments are tricky.

CBT therapy is one of the suggestions I have read that has helped many members. 

Great links posted and hopefully between the links and Karen's assistance you will get more helpful info.




Kitt, Co-Moderator: Anxiety/Panic & Depression
&  Moderator GERD  Forums

*~* *~*
Not a mental health professional of any kind
Peace does not dwell in outward things, but within the soul
Clickable Link: Anxiety-Panic Resources

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1257
   Posted 2/3/2009 11:22 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank you so much all who answered me.  The problems with my son are particularly difficult because he absolutely refuses therapy.  He had CBT several years ago and he said it did him no good.  He is not receptive to anyone who doesn't think like he does, which is like a child and very stubborn.  He wants his life to stay the same and not ever change but that is completely unrealistic. He has almost no self esteem.  The only way he feels good about himself is when he is at school helping the kids.  But if he can't get there then someone is going to fire him.  And of course he was late again this morning after our big talk last night. So I am at a loss until I get the info I need from the different OCD sites.  I am also hoping the epilepsy counselor can help him.  But she needs to see me alone for a while to get me where I need to be to help him. And I don't know if he will even read the OCD info.  He can't change his meds because what he is taking keeps him seizure free and the meds that help OCD cause seizures. So I feel I am in a catch 22.I am at this point praying for a miracle but that may not be realistic.
New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
Forum Information
Currently it is Wednesday, August 22, 2018 12:54 AM (GMT -6)
There are a total of 2,995,367 posts in 328,259 threads.
View Active Threads

Who's Online
This forum has 161328 registered members. Please welcome our newest member, carp46120.
231 Guest(s), 4 Registered Member(s) are currently online.  Details
carp46120, Girlie, Postop, jrpsf