Thursday, January 10, 2008

OCD - Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

I've been surprised about how much OCD seems to bleed into anorexia. I'm interested in why they seem to be interconnected. N's therapist has said that he has "flashes of OCD." I've seen them in N -- the routines that cause him great stress when interrupted. N has a little speech that he gives whenever we say goodbye. I'm not sure if it has stopped, but recently we figured out that when N prays, he feels like he has to ask Heavenly Father for help in every area (he would pray for such a long time). N's afraid that if he leaves anything out of his prayer, that problems will result. N keeps a spotless room (but a disaster closet - go figure). Lately, he has been very concerned with changing his underwear everyday. If he gets behind in his school work, it's paralyzing. He adheres to rules almost too tightly.

I also hear other parents talk about how smart their children are. N is too. He is so smart, that almost every doctor we've visited has commented about his intelligence repeatedly.

These common threads of high intelligence and OCD that weave through the anorexia make the brain function of anorexic patients even more suspect, in my opinion. There has to be something going on in the brain -- or affected by the brain to connect such neurological characteristics. The current research about chemical, metabolic and autoimmune causes make sense to me in a lot of ways because of the connections I see with N.

In some ways, it's like the "duh" that we say today about doctors figuring out they had to wash their hands to prevent the spread of infection. It seems so obvious to us now. I wonder if someday, the research on anorexia will result in a very simple explanation that will seem like a "duh" to us in the future. Maybe we're already on to something.

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