Hoarding paper clips

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by klmno, Feb 6, 2008.

  1. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    difficult child has cycles of depression- in the past one of the tell-tale signs for him has been bending paper clips. It would happen right before and during other more serious signs so I learned to watch for it. (I would find them in his pockets doing laundry.) He has heard me mention this to psychiatrists and tdocs so I know he probably wanted to hide it from me from then on. But, now he's on a mood stabilizer. His periods of major depression have been during winter for last 2 years. This year, I'm not finding bent paper clips but am finding that he appareantly is "collecting" and hoarding them. I asked where he got all of them- they are different styles so can't just come from one box. He says he asks each teacher for a couple each day. When I do laundry, I'm finding handfuls in pockets of pants he's worn to school.

    Is this a reaction from trying to keep himself from bending them? Is it a bipolar sympton or effect of mood stabilizers? Is it the start of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)?
  2. daralex

    daralex Clinging onto my sanity

    i wish I could offer some advice - mine stores thumbtacks. I never know what she is doing with them, but they are EVERYWHERE! is it maybe a control thing? Like if he hoards the paper clips everything will be ok like he derives a certain amount of pleasure/control from the clips? Just wondering since he's not bending them? Curious what the out come is - keep us posted!
  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Well, I just pulled a handful of bent, intertwined paper clips from the bottom of the washing machine.
  4. Jena

    Jena New Member


    i remember you speaking of this a bit ago the paper clips. i had mentioned how my little one collected certain garbage items. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) behaviors from my experience with my difficult child and from reading and from various doctor's i've been to that specialize in this field state that there is usually one or two specific items that they hoard.

    i can't remember when we spoke last.........is he showing any other signs of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) type behavior? does he obsess over stuff at all. by obsess i mean let's say you mention that maybe later you'll go for ice cream just an example. if later comes and your schedule changes and you just can't fit it in but let's say do ice cream at home will he go on and on about it till the point of tears and everyone else in house wanting to leave house? obsesssive behaviors are part of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). that's what my little one's got bigtime.

    is he hand washing alot, does he line up things in some type of order? does he check expiration dates on food at all ever? does he get very nervous being around other people that are sick to any extent?

    sorry so many questions i cna't remember last time we spoke i cna't remember anything lately.......lol

  5. Jena

    Jena New Member

    also they say they hoard when they are stressed over something it is a calming technique. from my experience they think difficult child has bi polar also that is not a trait of bi polar.
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), from what I read, is only when the person's obsessions affect their lives and they hate them, but can't stop them. Obsessive behavior is very common with autistic spectrum disorders. Be careful--bipolar looks a lot like untreated Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) too. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a red flag there...you may want yet another opinion. We had to get about ten before anyone got my complicated child right! Kids can have more than one disorder and, sadly, most do.
  7. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I wouldn't call it the START of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)... this IS obsessive, it's a bit hazy as to whether it's causing a problem for him. And it does seem to be possibly a way of coping with his moods.

    Winter is a nasty time for some people, with mood disorders (which can stand alone or be part of something else, like Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) in some form).

    Long ago I learned to keep a bucket in the laundry, into which I empty the boys' pockets of all stones, sticks, thumbtacks, paper clips, shells, feathers, broken glass, bottles of bubble mix etc. If nothing was claimed by the time the container was full, it all got thrown away. Or made into a rockery.

  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Oh, definitely it's Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), but Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), while it can stand alone, usually doesn't and disorders tend to crop up in clusters. I have bipolar so I know that darkness is bad for one with mood disorders and I do have some obsessive traits, but I'd want this child evaluated for possible other issues too. You know my motto...lol. "Better to be safe than sorry." If he has any hint of Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) with that bipolar, then he needs Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) interventions too. That would be as important as treating the bipolar :)
  9. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    MM: He had full neuropsychologist testing done 2 years ago- although this was at the beginning of erratice behavior and patterns hadn't been revealed yet. Wouldn't there have been some indication of Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) or Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) through those results? His results were all over the board.
  10. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Have you or anyone else asked him why he likes paper clips?

    I think I'd start there.
  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Yeah, he was 11 when he saw a neuropsychologist. If the Neuro didn't say anything about Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD), he obviously didn't see it. I was thinking your child was younger. I don't really know if he could have missed it. My experience is that any professional can miss anything at any time. Sadly, many missed my mood disorder and many missed Lucas' Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD). So I don't really trust any diagnosis unless the person is improving a lot. If not, I keep looking.
  12. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Not necessarily. difficult child 1 wasn't diagnosed with Asperger's until he was 15. We can look back and say, "Oh yeah, we could see it but didn't recognise it" but part of autism/Asperger's when it's high functioning, is high IQ which means high adaptability and learning to manage in their own way. part of THAT, is learning to hide it. Not in any sneaky, "I don't want you to diagnose me" way, but almost instinctively because they DO want to fit in.

    As easy child 2/difficult child 2 has gotten older, we are seeing more problem symptoms with her. The doctor doesn't see it, he says "She makes good eye contact with me, she's OK." But she KNOWS him, she feels safe making eye contact with him. Just an example.

    difficult child 1 when assessed by a multidisciplinary clinic, was hard to assess because he was at the upper age range of what they handled. They asked him to write something for them, so he did - word for word the chapter of the book he had been reading. I didn't realise; they didn't know; he didn't intend to 'cheat', he thought when they said, "We want to see how well you can write," they meant his handwriting, not his ability to create prose (which has always been shockingly bad). Literal-minded.

    A mild Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) can be hard to identify. You child still may not have Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD), but I think what MM & I are trying to say - never dismiss the possibility. You always need to keep an open mind, because it can be a chameleon of a condition (as can BiPolar (BP), I believe).

    Medicine is an inexact science. We deal with our kids the best we can, the only way we know how. A label only changes what we do, when the label comes with advice. otherwise we go home and do the same things.

    With the possibility of Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) or BiPolar (BP), there is advice which can help. Regardless of diagnosis, it's an interesting exercise to try the advice and see what happens. You never know - you might luck out and find a behaviour technique which makes your lives easier.

    When you mentioned paper clips, I immediately thought of those desk ornaments from the 70s which were magnetic and full of paper clips. I wonder how he would go with one of those permanently on his desk? Would it help, or hinder? Sometimes knowing they can have access to what they obsess over, can reduce the intensity of the obsession.