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Psychiatry & Psychology--General/15 year old boy has excessive fears


Hello and thank you for taking the time to read my questions.  My nephew is 15 years old and has some behaviors that concern me.  He has had these behaviors for years and his mother has never been worried about it nor taken him to counseling.
The boy insists on wearing a hat in public places because he thinks that hidden cameras will read his mind if he is bare-headed.  He insists on wearing long sleeves, sweaters, and long pants whenever he goes outside, even if it is 98 degrees out.  He cannot tolerate any curtain or window shade being open - he must keep all windows covered.  He does this wherever he happens to be.  He tapes his bedroom curtains to the walls.  He keeps all of the belongings that in his room covered with sheets and blankets - he told me that he does that because he doesn't want anyone to see his things.  He said that it feels like his things don't belong to him anymore if someone else looks at them.  He is begging me to make a curtain to go across his door so that if anyone opens the door, they can't see inside.  Whenever someone is in the bathroom, he stands guard outside the door to make sure they don't walk down the hallway and into his room.  Every time he walks out of the room, he says, "Don't talk about me, OK?"
I am worried about this boy.  His mother says, "Oh, its just his OCD".  The boy has never been diagnosed with OCD, and has never spoken with any therapist or doctor about these problems.
He has been homeschooled for two years, although not much schooling is going on.
Can you tell me how to help him or what to say to his mom to convince her to get help for him?

Hi Lynn, it sounds as tho you should be concerned about this young man. About the only thing you can do, tho, is report the mother for neglect. In addition, you will likely have to escalate / pursue the report - investigators may not file abuse charges, because this is not a typical case. You may have to contact the head of the agency or even the governor. I agree that it is important to act now, because in just a couple of years, he wont be able to get help. He may be in danger of never being able to work or have a family. Reporting is the only way

Psychiatry & Psychology--General

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Bruce Borkosky, Psy.D.


any related to psychology, especially related to forensic psychology


15 years as a licensed psychologist, 15 years in private practice. My practice began primarily doing individual and group psychotherapy, is now devoted to assessments, but I occasionally do take on clients in therapy.

American Psychological Association

B.A. psychology, B.A., music, Ohio Wesleyan U., 1978 MCS, computer science, University of Dayton, 1984 MA, psychology, Miami Inst. of Psychology, 1991 Psy.D., psychology, Miami Inst. of Psychology, 1993 post doctoral training in Neuropsychology, Fielding Institute, 1995-1997

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