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Obsessive Thoughts

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Hi everyone. My name is Jen and my dd is fifteen and has aspergers. She is in 10th grade, in the honors program. Since starting high school, she has suffered from distractions which affect her ability to concentrate. It affects her grades and seems to be getting worse.

I would like to know if any of you have had experience with this, and if you know of anything that can help her.

Certain sounds, such as chewing or whispering, distract her. We sort of solved that by getting ear plugs, and she can listen to the radio on her phone in some classes, with ear phones.

The worse problem is her obsessive thoughts. Growing up she has always had certain words that invade her thoughts. The latest word is "tritanope". She is proud of herself when she can go all day without saying it, but it still monopolizes her thoughts.

Here is what she posted on Facebook today:


I have problems. I can't stop thinking about tritanopes. And I have no control over it. All day. Every day. EVERY KLINGONLICKING SECOND. Right now, I'm thinking about tritanopes. My performance in school has drastically declined because of this. I had nothing below 89%, and now I'm getting 77% in most classes (except Chemistry which is 97%). Why? TRITANOPES. I can't focus on anything at all because I go right back to the infinite tritanope loop. I can't remember formulas or information even if I know it because when I try to recall, I get tritanopetritanopetritanope. I can't put anything in logical progression because tritanope and I try to say things but tritanope and then I forget where I was. I can't focus on tests and then I do terribly, because instead of thinking about calculations I end up writing "tritanope" nonstop and all over my test. I can't hold a conversation very long because it always goes to tritanopes, and if it can't go to tritanopes, I go all distant and thinking about tritanopes nonstop. I can't listen to lessons because I drift off and think about tritanopes the whole time. 


As you can see, she is really tortured by this.

If anyone knows of a treatment to help her concentrate, I would appreciate your input. I have heard that Aderall helps people with ADHD focus, and I wonder if would help in this instance. She isn't on any medication at all yet.

by on Apr. 10, 2013 at 1:46 AM
Replies (21-22):
by Member on Jul. 23, 2013 at 9:56 PM

Thank you for this information. We are no closer to a solution than when I first posted this. Her only health insurance at the time was medicaid, so that may have been a factor in finding a good doctor. I have a new job, with good insurance, so I have hope to find help soon. 

Quoting mommyinca:

My son is 9 and his obsessive thought is of minecraft the video game. He enjoys it but at the same time it inhibits him from thinking about anything else at all. We have really noticed in the last year how much of an issue this is... Its even hard to convey it in a post but it seriously takes over his life. We have seen psychiatrists since he was 5 and adderall was the first thing we tried. I am very anti meds so it was a huge thing for me to admit that he needed help. But, adder all did not really reduce the obsessive thoughts although it did help with impulse also made him depressed and angry. But, my husband takes it and it works fine for him...anyway, we have tried a number of meds after the adderall and we found that the metatdate works for him now I guess....we have done a lot of talking to drs in the past 6 months and we have been looking to switch to an SSRI like Zoloft. For some reason I am scared to try it. I am weird I guess but I am just nervous. It does look like in the research that theses types of drugs like adderall and metadate can actually worsen the obsessive thoughts and SSRIs are better for it. At least this is what I have read. Its just a difficult place to be in to realize that your child needs help and not know what the right answer is.

Hope you get answers.


by Member on Jul. 23, 2013 at 10:05 PM

She recently wrote this to try and explain what living with this is like. I'm glad she did. It's something I can show the doctor. (Sorry about the underlined part. She forgot to close a link and I don't know how to fix it):

"You've all wondered what communication is like for me? If you care about me that much anyway:

It's all manual, all automated, the "stick shift" of socializing if you will.

I can't say exactly what it is, but I'll describe an example.

Let's say you're in a math class. You have this really terrible itch that just won't go away, but every time you scratch it someone complains that it's distracting. So you have to keep from scratching it. It begins to burn.

In this world, there are monsters which make terrifying things happen unless you follow rituals. The rituals are ridiculous, people laugh at the odd which has manifested before them, and you can't blame them because the rituals are incredibly idiotic like touching things until they say to stop. You waste much time touching things to appease the monsters.

On this particular day, it's very bright and the class is allowed to eat during the lesson. You can't see because of the bright light, and the chewing noises are so painful that your ears begin to bleed. You can hardly listen, but the test is in five days. 

The monsters decide you need to make a very loud goat noise. You resist with all of your strength. The monsters are angered by your defiance and use their force to make your throat burn and tingle. You almost gargle trying to stop the tickling sensation.  Your muscles twitch and jerk and you barely manage to hold the noise in.

Now you can only think of one thing. Let's say it's lizards. You think about nothing but lizards and the monsters. The monsters like making you say "lizard" all the time. Uncontrollably. And no one understands it, but they go along with it.

Oh, still in math class. You have to memorize a formula. It is how to graph a hyperbola: 

Read the article backwards for full effect

But all you can think about are LIZARDS and Leon Trotsky. The itch is still burning, you are holding in a loud noise (it feels like holding in a yawn crossed with trying not to cry), your arm is twitching uncontrollably, touching the desk unevenly because of the twitching is terrifying because it violates the rituals set up for you by the monsters, and you panic because of the monsters.

So now you have to group project graph the hyperbola, you don't remember a thing because of the shenanigans and others try to help you, but their voices hurt your ears and you can only think about lizards. You decide to fake like you know what you're doing. In order to interact with them, you must speak the way they do- they use odd tones and strange sayings like "The cow has not yet murdered the owl of Dasangrell." Occasionally, what they say means the exact opposite of what they mean, and you have no way of knowing when they will do that. If you do not use their uneven tones, sayings, and random lies, they get offended. If you use the saying in the wrong place, they get offended. The tone for "I like you" and the tone for "go step on a Lego" sound exactly the same. God help you if you use the wrong one.

You still have all of the aforementioned problems- but this time, "lizard" is insulting if you say it too often. The face you make is a factor in your likability. They make faces which are hard for you to imitate and like tones, if done the wrong way will strongly insult them.

And eye contact is also impossible to do properly, the space in which eye contact is okay is very small.

So all of the above and probably more happening while you try to memorize the procedures before the test, think you can pass? Keep in mind you have other classes of slightly-lower difficulty to do similar things in, and the problems apply there as well."

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