Mood Disorders Expert Forum
Mental, mood or nothing
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Welcome to the Mood Disorders Forum. Questions in this forum are being answered by Peter Forster, MD and topics covered are anxiety, bipolar, depression, panic disorder, post traumatic stress disorder and stress.

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Mental, mood or nothing

My grandfather was a paranoid sczitophrenic (sorry about the spelling.) I am concern about my son, or I don't know if I should be concerned. He is 15, does not do drugs and does pretty well in school. His social life seems fine.

My reasons for concern: He has always been overly concerned about people gerrms on his food. At dinner he does not even like it when people talk because "spit" could land on his food. At lunch at school he told me he puts his food in his lap and eats. Recently he told me when he was little he thought I might put poisen in his food. He also said when he hears people laughing he always thinks they might be laughing at him and has to turn and see.

When he was a toddler he would not hold my hand. I know that might seem like a small thing, but he always resisted. In parkinglots, at the zoo, anywhere.

Thank you...
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Thank you for writing.

I can understand with that family history you might be concerned. On the other hand, none of the things that you shared sound that unusual. Based on what you said I wouldn't recommend getting a psychiatric assessment, for instance.

So the question is what can and/or should you do?

One of the most important things that you should try to do is to make the idea of getting mental health help free from stigma. You should look for opportunities to be positive about people who have gotten help for mental problems. If you have faced challenges yourself see if there is a natural opportunity to talk about it with him and to say what benefits you got from the experience. You might want to, at some point, explicitly say that you hope that if he ever had concerns that he would talk about them with you or would get help. In other words, you want to express the idea that there is nothing to be ashamed about when you have to face mental challenges, and, in particular, express optimism that things work out when you get the help that you need.

Don't know if that is helpful. But I think it is true, things will be fine as long as your son doesn't get a stigmatizing view of mental challenges and disorders.
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