"Our teenage son, who has ADHD and OCD, is hiding food in his room. What should we do?"
by Larry Silver, M.D.
Observe your son's eating patterns for the next week. If he eats a full breakfast (before his medication kicks in), and then feels hungry after the medication wears off in the evening, odds are, the stimulant is suppressing his appetite, and he's hiding his lunch so you won't get mad at him for not eating it. If so, ask his doctor about lowering his dose or trying a non-stimulant medication.
If you don't observe such a pattern, your son's behavior is likely a symptom of OCD, which is known to cause sneaking and hoarding of food. In this case, the same solution — lowering his dose or switching to a non-stimulant — is probably the best approach, as stimulant medications have been known to make OCD symptoms worse.