“Wow”, thats heavy! So he actually can’t do anything anymore? “They look at you suprised and puzzled. “No,” I say, “my son avoids everything he encounters because he has to repeat everying, or has to reverse it, or he has to feel emotions which he doesn’t want to feel. He sits at home all day with no social contacts, no social media for him, no fun, no life!”

“But isn’t anyone doing anything about it, surely this can’t go on?”
“Yes, various treatments and sessions with therapists in recent years, a 7 month admission to a clinic, home visits with several coaches and many, many sessions with us around the kitchen table where he can just sit all afternoon.”

Oh can you talk normally with thim then?

“Why, what do you mean? He is not crazy or anything, he’s very good at talking. If you ever need a psychologist then I have one at home, that’s how good he can talk, listen, observe and say just the right things that are necessary to give you food for thought, YES, you can talk to him normally, actually more than normally.”

The compulsive-angst monster of his mind

No feeling but thinking as much as possible, think, thinking as a distraction from feeling. What he feels, he does not want to feel, or he thinks that he feels this and then he has to figure out these feelings? But if he figures it out then it may well be real and that creates fear, and he doesn’t want that. So he can’t figure it out or investigate. But how not to feel emotions? Compulsion patterns, everything has to remain the same, everything in even numbers, no attempt to do things outside this pattern.

Eventually, avoid anything and everything to reduce the need for compulsive behaviours. Because doing something is always linked to all kinds of compulsions. Doing nothing is not fine either but it saves the need for compulsion.
Even though it’s never enough, he carries out more and more compulsions: swallow between thoughts, do not talk while thinking, don’t feel, fill time with all kinds of daydreams and imagine how he should be. That keeps him busy and thus he still has his own “dream life”, all afternoon at the kitchen table.

The mind devil knows very well how to make him anxious. Doubts, he can’t handle them. The compulsion monster has taken control completely in exchange for his emotions. But are these feelings? Or are they really thoughts? What is what and where is what, what is and what is not, does he feel it or is is fear and does he think that he feels it… doubts, confusing!

From his therapists, he had learned to persevere and still do things despite the fear. But according to him these were just tricks and subsequently the misery started again from the beginning. All the therapy for OCD appears to have been for nothing. The fear to feel, is greater than the will to get rid of the compulsion.

Despair

In desperation we tell the professionals that as parents we can’t continue like this. Our whole life at home is tied up with patterns. We have nowhere to go, we don’t know what else we can do to help and have (almost) given up. If you would you only take you medication, but that doesn’t fit into your compulsion pattern either and you keep saying that you will never take them voluntarily. It makes us desperate. We so much want you to have a different life.

Bite the bullet

We bit the bullet, something has to be done. You see this as well but you still hope to break the circle in another way. Another path is taken, once again the path to (compulsory) admission.

Fortunately, we found this site Dwang.eu where we can read blogs, put questions to people who have experience, who understand what it is all about, who are willing to listen and help where they can. This gives us a possible last straw which we will clutch with both hands, with a glimmer of hope.

Maybe still now…?

Photo credit: Pickersgill Reef via photopin ccadaptation