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Sarah
Sarah, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 143
Experience:  Chart'd Psych, 12 yrs exp. English prisons, Clinical Hypnotherapist, EMDR Therapist, BPS, HPC reg'd.
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My 21 years old son, has fixations upon boys. It began at around

Customer Question

My 21 years old son, has fixations upon boys. It began at around 9/10 years of age, the mother of his affections asked that he leave her son alone as it was disturbing him. Some months later they moved away. Since then there have been a number and when he was 17/18 he "cracked up" on holiday with 4 other friends, one of whom had become the latest object of his affections. He didn't attend school for his last year. Suffering from Panic attacks, depression, social anxiety, suicide threats. His mother and i ( separated for 10 years ) did not think he could go on to university, but he did, coped with his first year, moved in to halls of residence and made friends. He managed to tour europe for 5 weeks with a male friend ( who is now also the object of his affections and knows my son feels this way ) this friends has a girlfriend, one of the group. He returned from europe, saying he felt good ( he looked well and had bleached his hair,blonde ) and almost immediately went off to a 4 day music festival with most of this group of friends. Of course, the male friend and girlfriend wanted to be together and went off so my son felt yet again isolated, and all the negative symptoms returned, worse than ever. Now he has taken an apartment near the university with the male friend and a girl ( one of the group but not the girlfriend ). They plan to move in, in a few weeks. He is now again suffering, panic attacks, suicidal, sick to the stomach. he was on medication for depression, he stopped taking them. He was seeing a doctor but he did not mention the fixation problem, only that he had depression and OCD. That was months ago Now after his latest visit to a GP, his is on Prozac. My son seems to think he has every disorder going, including Schizophrenia ( i pray not ) He feels he will only get worse, that there is no cure or end to the way he feels. He believes he is bisexual, he is a virgin and ( in his own words ) petrified of women, he said if a women made a play, he would freak out. I am an old father, i am desperate to have more understanding. The one good thing is his university has excellent mental health support,
he has an initial assessment with someone next week. If he finds the strength to go.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Bill replied 3 years ago.
Chat Conversation Started
Bill :

Thanks for asking the question here and I am sorry to hear that your son has had such struggles.

Bill :

I think it is great that he has an appointment at the University as he needs to get into some for of ongoing counseling that will help him sort out the feelings he has and has struggled with over the years.

Customer :

iyes

Bill :

One thing that you can do is try and "normalize" the distress and be supportive (as it sounds you have).

Bill :

This is a problem faced by many teens and young adults and with help he can certainly feel better and enjoy life without so much distress.

Customer :

Yes, i try, as does his mother, i am sure though that our marriage break up and the way we did or did not handle it affected him

Bill :

That could be

Bill :

he has internalized a lot of his feelings and thats why he is having that gastro distress etc.

Customer :

You say faced be many teens, but he and i think it unusual since it seems to be unrequited love for a member of the same sex

Customer :

he operates and interacts quite well with older people, my freinds for example

Bill :

True, however, if there is a lot of stress, it becomes a barrier to acting out feelings of love etc.

Bill :

I definitely do not think your son is Schizophrenic....

Customer :

well, it certainly seems to have "disabled" him in that regard

Bill :

I see it as a temporary "disability" that he can resolve. He has taken positive steps to accept help and if you encourage this he will get connected with a good counselor that will help unwind some of this conflict and get him on a path toward mental health.

Customer :

I'm glad you don't think he is, many of the symptoms seem to be a consequence of a feeling of rejection or pending rejection

Bill :

I have seen adolescents and young adults for nearly 30 years and this is a very workable problem.

Bill :

If he was schizophrenic he would not have the social functioning accomplishments he has already enjoyed.

Bill :

He would be much more withdrawn and not have the level of anxiety and OCD you describe.

Customer :

i am worried about the interaction between his friends when in the appartment, when his fiends girlfriend visits, stays etc

Bill :

what is it that worries you the most about this?

Bill :

are you still there?

Customer :

i suppose, if he cant maintain control he might explode ( violently ) he gets very angry ( not that has ever been violent. i think his major fear is exposing his problems to his friends

Customer :

yes

Bill :

I understand.

Bill :

If he has a counselor or therapist he will be able to address these issues in the appropriate environment and both of you will feel better.

Bill :

At a deeper level, he would not proceed with this if he felt he couldn't handle it.

Bill :

BotXXXXX XXXXXne and the key to this is getting a good counselor via the university.

Customer :

Yes, a conclusion i already reached. do you really think he has a "stable" future and will resolve these issues?

Customer :

what can we conclude? is he bipolar? what name can we give his disorder?

Bill :

I think we can conclude that he needs to be properly diagnosed by a clinician at the mental health center. He could have BiPolar disorder, depressed type which is very treatable but the label is not is important as getting his stable. Without seeing him, I would say it is a depressive disorder associated with identity confusion. Again, very treatable

Bill :

Is that helpful?

Bill :

Please reassure your son that he will get help through counseling and tell him that his problems are treatable. I have seen an increase over the past several years of teens and young adults with these problems.........which I believe is having been overexposed to social pressures.......much from the internet.

Bill :

I wish you the best and if you have further questions please contact me here. You can reach me by my screen name BillLCSW.

Bill :

Keep me posted

Bill :

Bill

Customer :

will reply

Bill :

PLEASE CLICK ON ACCEPT WHEN PROMPTED

Expert:  Bill replied 3 years ago.
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Expert:  Sarah replied 3 years ago.
Hi Sir,

It sounds to me that your son has some strong beliefs about women tucked away in his subconscious mind, along with some strong beliefs about his health, and possibly about his self worth also. I wonder if he experienced parental arguments and disagreements as a young boy, before the divorce occurred? You know, young children often misinterpret what they see and hear, and can absorb beliefs about the world, people, women, men, etc etc. often blaming themselves for stuff they don't really understand, because they are not old enough to separate themselves from it. It is possible that your son blames himself for your divorce, or something similar, and has such beliefs locked away in his subconscious mind. The subconscious mind is particularly powerful and can affect the way we think and feel in an amazing way, sometimes not in a positive way. I am not sure that I agree with the expert's opinion that this is often the case with young adults, as I see that your son has affections for the same sex. This could be as a result of his underlying fear of women - you say he is a virgin - if a male accepted his affections, he may run a mile from them too, as this may not be his genuine orientation. OK, so how to help him? I see that he is visiting a counselor next week and I hope that goes well. However, I would urge you to speak to him about EMDR, a therapy that reaches into the depths of the subconscious mind and allows a person to explore their beliefs (which they are often not consciously aware of and may deny even if they are asked straight out about them) and most importantly, to let them go. The therapy is not about apportioning blame to the people he has been affected by, it is simply to recognise the cause, allow the brain to make new neurological connections and to let the fears go. Then your son would be free to make his own affections with who ever he felt drawn to, rather than to whom he does not fear. Have a look on www.emdria.com for more information and a local therapist. Or ask your son to ask next week if EMDR is available through his university. You will see it is known as a trauma therapy, but do not be dissuaded by this, as any highly emotional events in life can affect the brain connections and cause emotional reactions, termed trauma (such as phobias and panic attacks). I wish you and your son well, you a doing an amazing job to support him, don't feel disheartened as an older dad, you have much more to offer him from your experience of life than a younger one. Best Wishes, Sarah
Sarah, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 143
Experience: Chart'd Psych, 12 yrs exp. English prisons, Clinical Hypnotherapist, EMDR Therapist, BPS, HPC reg'd.
Sarah and 2 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Bill replied 3 years ago.
HEllo-
I was checking as you indicated you were going to provide after we chatted yesterday.
I see that another colleague has provided feedback. I concur with what she has told you however, possible treatment modalities or recommendation should come as a result of his face to face evaluation.
At this point, resolving the crisis is paramount.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Best, Bill

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  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
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