Q. My son always complains that he doesn’t like his brain. He used to say “the man in my brain..the one with the red hat and yellow shoes told me to do it”. He is a very good boy and does nothing bad but will say these things when he does something wrong. Lately he has been insisting he’s done things that he hasn’t and only imagined. For example..I smoked that cigarette, I bit her, I kissed him.

He initially would become very upset when he thought he did these things and at first I thought these things had really happened. I know now that nothing like what he says happens and I tell him it’s only his imagination although he gets frightened he’ll get sick by having “eaten the fire,” etc. etc. He’ll then ask me to please fix his brain which I try to reassure him about. Do you have any idea what this is or whether I should have him looked at? He does nothing bad but there is a strong history of OCD in the immediate family.

A. It is difficult to know what could be going on with your child. My first thought when reading your letter was OCD, however, without knowing more, there is no way to know. You did not mention how old your son is or how long this situation has been going on. My suggestion is to have him evaluated. Assuming your son is under the age of 18, discuss this matter with his pediatrician or doctor. Ask him or her whether or not a psychiatrist is needed and if so, ask to be referred to a well-qualified child psychiatrist. It could be nothing but taking him now to be evaluated, at the very least, will help put your mind at ease. Take care.