Quebec mom shares harrowing story of son's battle with OCD
Laurie Gough had just lost her father in 2013 when she worried she could be losing her 10-year-old son, too.
Her happy-go-lucky son was consumed with grief over the death of his grandfatherand cried himself to sleep for months.
“The behaviour started to subside and he started to sort of come out of that,” Gough told CTV News Channel from Ottawa, just south of her home in Wakefield, Que.
“As that was subsiding, he started doing something else that I thought was rather peculiar.”
Quinn’s “peculiar” elbow tapping would mark the beginning of his deterioration into nearly catatonic Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Gough has chronicled the story in her new book, “Stolen Child: A Mother’s Journey to Rescue Her Son from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.”
Gough said she thought nothing of his tapping patterns until she did a simple Google Search for “kids making things even.” She discovered it was a common query and the answer was symmetry rituals, a symptom of OCD.
“That was just the beginning but after that it got much, much worse,” she said. Quinn’s OCD became more severe with paralyzing routines such as repeating his sentences backwards to get back to zero and retracing his steps to exit a room.
“All these rituals were designed to bring his grandpa back to life,” Gough said. “It was so sad to see this 10-year-old kid caught in this magical thinking.”
Today, Gough is happy to share that Quinn is back to the boy she remembers. He’s 13 years old, loves sports and has lots of friends.
Quinn’s bout of OCD lasted six months, although the last few were the most difficult. Gough said he was finally cured after going through Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, which helped him to better cope with his grief and break free of his patterns.
Gough’s final words of advice for parents who have children struggling with OCD: “Don’t lose heart … It can have a happy ending.”