I have a beautiful, smart, little boy named Jules. He is the light of our entire family’s life. Everyday is a struggle for him; he suffers from GAD, General Anxiety Disorder. He also suffers from OCD, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Jules is four years’ old, looks like any other boy on the surface, but underneath he is raw nerves and emotions.
Jules first started showing signs of OCD and GAD when he was between 18 months and 2 years old. Little things like; making sure that shoes placed next to each other were in perfect order, making patterns with his blocks, and turning items so they were perfectly aligned. I often thought that he might be autistic. Jules would also do the the strangest thing I have ever seen a baby do, he would pick the lint off his blanket, one by one, and eat it! He would do this anytime he saw lint on any item, but mostly he would do this over and over while he was falling asleep. That’s when I got scared. I was afraid he would create a hair and lint ball in his stomach that would block his bowels, and my fear was slightly realized when I pulled a blanket string from his bottom during a regular diaper change! He does have semi-serious bowel problems about every 6 months or so, but he hasn’t eaten any lint for at least a year or more now. Other signs that showed themselves around 2 years old were complete and total breakdowns, over the most unlikely things! Jules would throw horrible screaming fits if he couldn’t put his own clothes on by himself, and if you let him he would scream for an hour because he was only 2 and had a hard time getting them on. These and many other outbursts were so over the top, even for a child in his “terrible twos”, that I felt something else was causing the problem. When his father and I separated, his father was diagnosed with Paranoid Schizophrenia, depression, and anxiety. That’s when I decided to take Jules to be evaluated by a counselor and psychologist.
Jules was diagnosed with GAD and OCD at 3 years old. He had a complete psychological evaluation, IQ testing (he is on the border of genius, it would have been higher but he got bored with the test, according to the psychologist), and play therapy (which he continues biweekly). He was put on medication for his anxiety disorder, and medication for depression, then recently he was put on a mood stabilizer because he would get very violent and angry. I was a huge opponent of putting children on medication before all of this, I always thought ” Let the kid be a kid”, until my son told me that he hated to feel the way that he did. I still have a hard time giving him these medicines, but without them he would have a poor quality of life. Since he began these medicines he is much happier, he actually sleeps now, and he has learned soothing techniques to get him through stressful situations. We still have are ups and downs, but he is my baby, and he is fighting his way through this the best that he can. I hope my story can help others looking for information regarding GAD and OCD.