Obsessive Compulsive Disorder in Children and Teens [web resource]
Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and related disorders affect over 500,000 children in the U.S. alone. The International OCD Foundation (IOCDF) website contains information about OCD and related disorders, treatment, research, and other resources that can help.
OCD is a disorder of the brain and behavior that often begins in childhood and causes severe anxiety in those affected. OCD involves both obsessions and compulsions that take a lot of time and get in the way of important activities, such as school and extracurricular activities, developing friendships, and self-care.
Obsessions are intrusive and unwanted thoughts, images, or urges that occur over and over again and feel outside of the child’s control. These obsessions are unpleasant for the child and typically cause a lot of worry, anxiety, and distress.
Compulsions (also referred to as rituals) are behaviors the child feels he or she “must do” with the intention of getting rid of the upsetting feelings caused by the obsessions. A child may also believe that engaging in these compulsions will somehow prevent bad things from happening.
Symptoms of OCD can be very similar to other psychological conditions (such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism spectrum disorders, or other anxiety disorders), so it can be a challenge to help your child get the care they need.
IOCDF has assembled a series of article for parents and families to provide an overview and help for a child that you know or suspect to have OCD.
- About OCD in Kids
- Talking to Your Child’s Doctor
- How Do I Find the Right Therapist for My Child?
- How Do I Talk to My Child About OCD?
- How Do I Talk to My Teen About OCD?
- Managing OCD in Your Household
- Talking to Your Child’s School
- How Pediatric OCD is Treated
For kids and teens:
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