Anxiety Disorders

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Teenager...angst vs. mental health issue

We have a 16 year old son. He does well in school and sports. He isn\'t violent or abusive. Our concerns are as follows:

1) He seems to have no social skills. He always seemed uncomfortable--even resentful--when his friends came over (at age 4-

5). Since kindergarten, he has never once invited anyone over. He has been invited to friends\' homes, and goes, but this doesn\'t happen often. He can name friends if asked to, but there is no socializing with anyone outside of sports.

2) He speaks mostly in grunts. He CAN talk, and make eye contact, if someone else initiates it. Teachers have never mentioned this as a problem. From a distance we\'ve seen him conversing with teammates and coaches. People do comment on how quiet he is.

3) When he was about 11 I was reading an article about a soccer player with OCD. I showed him the article, thinking he would be interested in the sports aspect--he told me he thought he had the same problem. And, it\'s true, he has these weird quirky things that he must do every day. Some have gone away, some have remained. Websites seem to suggest if it doesn\'t interfere with everyday life to just wait-and-see. He used to keep his room spotless..now it\'s as bad as his sisters\'! I don\'t know if I should be happy or not about that!

4) A sister-in-law recently commented that it wasn\'t normal for a 16 year old to sit so close to his mother. I couldn\'t remember what she was referring to, but I think he sat down by me on the couch in front of her and had me scratch his head. He likes it when I do that. Should I not do that? I didn\'t think it was so weird. However, I was one of four girls and I have 5 daughters and only 1 son. I don\'t know what is normal for boys or not normal!!!

He is more standoffish from his dad now, although they get along fine. I have noticed that he will stand by me, ask me to pass food to him at the table (even if the food is right by his dad instead), and generally seems more comfortable with me than with his dad. He and his dad have always enjoyed a close relationship in the past, so this saddens me. Is it normal for boys to start pushing their dads away?

5) Finally, there is definitely a history of depression in our family. Two of his sisters have been diagnosed with depression. He has not exhibited any of the same problems they had shown.

I don\'t know if he\'s just being a normal teen or if there is something we should address! Any input would be appreciated. Thank you

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