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973741 tn?1342342773

superstitions and OCD

Wondering about this.  I have been told my son likely has OCD with his anxiety although he has not been formally diagnosed.  He's always had ritualistic, superstitious tendencies in relation to numbers.  Even good, odd bad.  Will not get out of bed on an odd number.  Won't get out of the car on an odd number.  He has attention issues at times and mints help.  I just found about 5 mint containers that are left and not used anymore (tic tacs and another brand he likes) and every single one of them has exactly two mints left in them.  Makes me wonder.  He uses them when he takes tests and quizzes especially.  He has incredible anxiety about school and perfectionist tendencies.  Missing a point is like failing to him.  He is getting started with a psychologist and we are working to get him what he needs for anxiety and now severe depression and I will bring it to the therapists attention.  But wondering about it in the mean time.  
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Avatar universal
OCD is a very overdiagnosed thing, especially by those who try to diagnose themselves or others without the proper education.  Even psychiatrists way over diagnose it.  OCD as a category has grown so far from its original conception as to make it almost a meaningless diagnosis for most people.  Because of this you're just going to have to wait for the psychologist to make a diagnosis.  And it really doesn't matter that much, in that you know he has an anxiety problem or at least a lot of insecurity.  Don't know how old your son is, but it's also hard to compare childhood behavior with adult mental illness.  The important thing is getting treatment that helps, rather than the label.  Hope your son gets better.  Peace.
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973741 tn?1342342773
My son is 17.  He's had various things going on for his entire life.  We're now at a crisis point awaiting more serious care but the system is so backed up.  Labels do help in my opinion. Obviously the treatment given and that it works is most important but the label might help get us there.   When I see things like the exactly two mints saved in several containers, I just wonder what motivates that.  I think my boy suffers even more than I know.  I hope my son gets better too.  So much.  thanks.
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1 Comments
To clarify, labels given by a qualified diagnostician who is good at the job helps.  It determines treatment.  Labels one gives oneself by self-diagnosis doesn't help at all.  Labels given by manuals written by pharmaceutical company reps don't help either.  So yeah, if the label is an accurate one, it does help.  In this case, that doesn't yet exist.  Peace.
Avatar universal
I wish your son all the best.  I am unable to offer any professional advice but I hope you will be able to get help for him.
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Avatar universal
The DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition) provides clinicians with official definitions of and criteria for diagnosing mental disorders and dysfunctions. Although not all experts agree on the definitions and criteria set forth in the DSM-5, it is considered the "gold standard" by most mental health professionals in the United States.
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Avatar universal
DSM-5 Diagnostic Criteria for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

A. Presence of obsessions, compulsions, or both:

Obsessions are defined by (1) and (2):

1. Recurrent and persistent thoughts, urges, or images that are experienced, at some time during the disturbance, as intrusive and unwanted, and that in most individuals cause marked anxiety or distress.

2. The individual attempts to ignore or suppress such thoughts, urges, or images, or to neutralize them with some other thought or action (i.e., by performing a compulsion).
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Avatar universal
Compulsions are defined by (1) and (2):

1. Repetitive behaviors (e.g., hand washing, ordering, checking) or mental acts (e.g., praying, counting, repeating words silently) that the individual feels driven to perform in response to an obsession or according to rules that must be applied rigidly.

2. The behaviors or mental acts are aimed at preventing or reducing anxiety or distress, or preventing some dreaded event or situation; however, these behaviors or mental acts are not connected in a realistic way with what they are designed to neutralize or prevent, or are clearly excessive.
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Avatar universal
B. The obsessions or compulsions are time-consuming (e.g., take more than 1 hour per day) or cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.
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C. The obsessive-compulsive symptoms are not attributable to the physiological effects of a substance (e.g., a drug of abuse, a medication) or another medical condition.
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Avatar universal
D. The disturbance is not better explained by the symptoms of another mental disorder (e.g., excessive worries, as in generalized anxiety disorder; preoccupation with appearance, as in body dysmorphic disorder; difficulty discarding or parting with possessions, as in hoarding disorder; hair pulling, as in trichotillomania [hair-pulling disorder]; skin picking, as in excoriation [skin-picking] disorder; stereotypies, as in stereotypic movement disorder; ritualized eating behavior, as in eating disorders; preoccupation with substances or gambling, as in substance-related and addictive disorders; preoccupation with having an illness, as in illness anxiety disorder; sexual urges or fantasies, as in paraphilic disorders; impulses, as in disruptive, impulse-control, and conduct disorders; guilty ruminations, as in major depressive disorder; thought insertion or delusional preoccupations, as in schizophrenia spectrum and other psychotic disorders; or repetitive patterns of behavior, as in autism spectrum disorder).
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Avatar universal
I think the important thing to highlight is it is not merely just having the obsessions and/or compulsions, but rather having obsessions and/or compulsions that start to significantly negatively impact one's quality of life.
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Avatar universal
When you mentioned things like not being able to get out of bed or get out of the car, this sounds more serious.
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Avatar universal
You son's situation warrants further workup and/or management with a psychologist and/or psychiatrist.
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1 Comments
Thank you!  Yes, we've now really been digging in.  He's not yet started full psychotherapy but we've worked with a psychiatric team.  OCD is part of his diagnosis along with general anxiety and depression.  Such a hard road for a teenager to follow. Thank you for your input.
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