Avatar universal

16 year old acting strangely?

My Son is 16 years old and he has slowly been exhibiting strange behaviors over the past few months. He showered normally for his entire life up until recently. Now he showers for hours at a time, sometimes more than once in a day. He goes through body wash and soap like its nobody's business. When I brought it up to him, he acted panicky and said "I don't know. I just, I don't know. I'll buy my own body wash if its bugging you. I'm sorry."
He mutters to himself a lot more frequently, and I've caught him repeatedly walking in and out of rooms, flicking light switches on and off, and opening and closing doors. If I ask him what he's doing, he gives a short, dismissive response and he looks just so uncomfortable all the time. I know it isn't drugs, because he has to be tested for school activities and there hasn't been a problem. I can't talk to him about it because he seems to just shut down and resort to one word answers to all my questions. He's a smart, sweet kid, but something is going on and I would love to know what.
2 Responses
Avatar universal
Hi.. The showers, well, thats probably a boy thing. Not uncommon in boys & masturbation. I wouldn't confront him about his exorbitant use of soap or make him feel embarrassed by it.. The light switches & doors? That is kind of odd..
Also, I wanted to address something with you about drugs.. You said it couldn't be drugs because he gets tested at school for different activities and its never been a problem before..
Im NOT saying that he is using drugs but your wrong about that and these days it's very important to be vigilant and educated about this. ALOT of drugs are out of your system quickly and therefore wouldn't show up by the time he's tested. Often kids have to look no farther than the parents medicine cabinet to get high.. Pain pills, cough syrup, etc... (its off topic) but I really wanted to point out that as parents we have to be aware.. I'm glad ot hasn't been a problem in the past but that doesn't mean that their won't ever be..
Maybe go out for a mom son day.. To eat or something else he really likes to do and just talk to him in a nonconfrontational way.. Ask him what has been going on.. Best of luck & please keep us posted...
(I'm the mother of 4 (3 teens) so I am in NO way trying to be rude or harsh)
585414 tn?1288941302
  Much of what you are describing such as extended showers and
frequent hand washing,turning light switches on and off and continually walking in and out of rooms may be compulsions. This can happen in obsessive compulsive disorder but there are other concerns that can cause this type of behavior. It would be worthwhile to see if a psychiatrist could be of help.They could also see whether he is just talking to himself
or vocalizing his thoughts and how that could be addressed.
   OCD can be treated with medications but cognitive behavioral
therapy can also be of help. Only a psychiatrist could provide
a diagnosis but it would be worthwhile for him to see one.
If they don't find any concerns, a talk therapist can be helpful in  general.
Have an Answer?

You are reading content posted in the Parenting Teens (12-17) Community

Top Parenting Answerers
13167 tn?1327194124
Austin, TX
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Fearing autism, many parents aren't vaccinating their kids. Can doctors reverse this dangerous trend?
Learn which over-the-counter medicines are safe for you and your baby
Yummy eats that will keep your child healthy and happy
6 essential foods for new moms (and their newborns!)
What to expect in your growing baby
Learn which foods aren't safe to eat when you're eating for two.