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Dr. Kaushik
Dr. Kaushik, Psychiatrist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 4645
Experience:  MD Psychiatry
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My son is 11 years old and he told me lately he is afraid he

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My son is 11 years old and he told me lately he is afraid he is going to stick his finger in a light socket and hurt himself. He says he doesn't want to do this and there is no voice in his head telling him to do this but he can not get the thought out of his head. He does not perform any rituals or counting or anything like that to stop the thoughts but he is very upset by it and is becoming afraid to be anywhere alone. I have had to go so far as to put outlet covers in his room.

Hi there,

Welcome to Just Answer !

Well, this thought of his ,is definitely bizarre and seems to be an obsessional thought , that is why he is not able to get it out of his mind . Also it can be a paranoid ideation which would give the diagnosis a different angle altogether ,shifting our focus from Obsessional thought to Psychoses. So i would like to ask a few questions , and kindly answer them against their numbers and then i shall be able to formulate a probable diagnosis or differential diagnoses .

1) Since when has he been having such thoughts?

2) Prevously , has he been ever diagnosed with any psychiatry illness?

3) Has he become irritable, aggressive, snaps at others over trivial matters , disrespectful towards elders and seniors and even violent and destructive?

4) Does he mutter to self , when no one is around him?

5) Has he become self negligent, not taking good care of himelf , having poor hygeine and lagging behind in school , which previously was not the case?

6) Has his sleep and appetite become less, irregular and inadequate?

Kindly answer the queries against their numbers , and i shall reply you with an appropriate response.


Customer: replied 8 years ago.

He has been having these thoughts for about 6 months now.

He has not been diagnosised with any mental illness

He is not mean or irritable or destructive. He is very polite, pleasent and helpful around the house, he gets good grades in school.

He does not mutter to himself

He has not been neglecting his hygiene

He eats well but does have a lot of trouble going to sleep, this is when the thoughts seem to bother him the most. He does have a rather lenghty bed time routine. Where he brushes his teeth, blows his nose, gets a big glass of water for his bedside, tells everyone goodnight several times, calls his father (we are divorced since he was 2) and always asks me if i signed his school planner and if he can't sleep can he come in my room. It seems sort of compulsive to me but when I ask him if he tries counting or doing anything else to stop these thoughts he always says no. He is asking me to take him to a Dr which I am planning on doing. He father is against all medications (although he himselfs smokes marijuana on a daily basis) and says he does not get enough attention from me because I do have 2 small children. My son loves his younger sisters and plays with them a lot and is very patient and kind to them, he does not seem jealous of them at all. so my son will not talk about this to his father.

Hi there,

Thanks for the detailed reply.

Well, from what you have mentioned just now, it seems your son is suffering from Obsessive compulsive disorder ( OCD) , and the reason i cite for this diagnosis is that , it is not necessary for an OCD patient to have compulsive rituals like counting several times , or checking on locks over and over again, etc , but also if a person like your son who gives too much attention in being perfectly organised and too much time in minute details such as , investing too much time in planning to sleep due to all the lenthy duties he performs ,which may look normal to a third person, but the importance he attaches to each one of them like asking you whether you signed his planner or not, keeping a glass of water just in case the need arises, telling good nights several times, etc is beyond imagination of others , and if there is any sort of disuption in such routine tasks of his , he surely will feel uncomfortable , so all these characteristics also define an OCD DIAGNOSIS.

And i must commend you on your foresight that you had taken the necessary precautions to prevent any sort of mishap, as it is quite possible that in future his obsessional thought of inserting his finger into the socket may just overwhelme his logic and reasoning and he gives in to perform the compulsive ritual and hurt himself.

So, i suggest that you consult a psychiatrist and get him thoroughly evaluated and get him placed him on antidepressants such as paxil (paroxetine) or prozac( fluoxetine) , as they are the drugs of choice in OCD , which is a type of Anxiety disorder . Also , along with the drugs , it will be better if you also get him started on Psychotherapy ( counseling) , which is offered by a psychiatrist or a clinical psychologist , and the best psychotherapy for OCD is Cognitive behavioural therapy ( CBT) , WHICH IS A SHORT COURSE THERAPY .

Well, i would advice you to do the needful ,as early as possible , as since he is young boy , so if he is started on the therapy and drugs early then we can groom him in such a way that his OCD will not have a baring on his future .

I wish your son the best of health.

I hope my answer serves your query according to your satisfation.


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