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OCD, ADD, Depression, & An Eating Disorder?

Published: February 21, 2011
Dear TeenHealthFX,
I just might have OCD. The smallest things drive me insane!! And it's things I barely notice. Usually I don't notice I have been doing something until I can't and then I want to scream. There are so many things I do. Like the strings on my hoodie have to be the same. I have to take equal bites on each side of my mouth, especially with bite sized candy. The volume on tvs and radios has to be a multiple of 5. And so many others.. I also might have add or ADHD. I don't really know the difference. I have a hard time focusing on 1 thing at a time and sometimes I can't sit still for my life!! An usually I can't help but move when I'm supposed to stay still... Like when I'm writing I flick my pen or pencil back an forth. And I am way too hyper sometimes. People say I act drunk when I consume too much sugar. But then other times I completely change and I don't want o get up or move. I wNt to be alone. I go from I have to be the middle of a crowd to I want to be alone. And I get sever mood swings sometimes. So I feel bipolar. I also think I have a mild depression. My brain likes to think about all of the bad times in my life and make me cry even though I shouldnt. I disappointing people and sometes I feel liked life is hopeless an that I'm inferior to everyone else and I'm just a big letdown to everyone and anyone who has ever had expectations for me. I also think I may have an eating disorder. I don't exactly see the anorexia but many of my friends are dating that I don't eat enough food as I should. And there are alot of times where y stomach hurts really bad right after I eat so I make myself puke to make the pain go away. And it may be because I have deep rooted child hood issues about the majority of my family calling me fat for my whole life. Even when I was a baby everyone called me a butterball because I was so fat. Also, every time I try to talk to my mom about these problems, she doesn't wanna hear it. She doesn't want to believe that her little girl has so many mental problems.
Signed: OCD, ADD, Depression, & An Eating Disorder?

Dear OCD, ADD, Depression, & An Eating Disorder?,

 

You have raised concerns that you may be dealing with OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder), ADD/ADHD, a mood disorder, and an eating disorder. However, TeenHealthFX cannot give you any kind of accurate diagnosis over the web, and if you do have any of these disorders they would require treatment from a trained mental health professional. That said, FX thinks that it is important for you to meet with a therapist for a consultation so you can find out if you are dealing with any mental health illnesses, as well as what the treatment recommendations would be depending on what you are diagnosed with.

It may be difficult for your mother to really see what is going on with you. It can be sad for parents to see their children struggling with things, plus some parents may find that feelings of guilt may come up if they are concerned that they have contributed to any of the difficulties their children are dealing with. However, ignoring the problem won’t make it go away – so FX does think it is important for you to try to talk about it with her at least one more time. You could start by empathizing with your mother about how difficult it must be for her to really look at and accept some of the difficulties you are experiencing. But then be clear with her that denying the existence of these issues is not going to make them go away – that you need to meet with a therapist for a consultation. Tell her that if you were having physical symptoms that were problematic and not going away, she would take you to your medical doctor for a check-up. And just as she would do that if something was physically wrong, let her know that you need her to take you to a mental health professional for the emotional issues you are dealing with. If she continues to be resistant to the idea, think of another trusted adult you could speak to who could advocate on your behalf for a consultation to be set up – your father, an extended family member, your doctor, or perhaps a counselor at school.   

If you live in northern New Jersey and need help finding a therapist you can call the Access Center from Atlantic Behavioral Health at 888-247-1400. Outside of this area you can log onto the US Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website for referrals in your area. You can also contact your insurance company to get a list of in-network mental health providers or check with your school social worker or psychologist to get a list of referrals in your area.

 

As far as your question about the difference between ADD and ADHD, ADD is attention-deficit disorder and ADHD is attention-deficit/hyperactive disorder. The main difference between the two has been that people with ADHD tend to display hyperactive and impulsive behaviors in addition to inattentiveness, while people with ADD tend to display mainly inattentive behaviors. However, ADHD tends to be the preferred term these days as most people with the disorder have some combination of inattentive and hyperactive-impulsive behaviors, even if one tends to predominate the other.

Signed: TeenHealthFX

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