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OCD In Children

OCD In ChildrenObsessive-compulsive disorder can occur at any age but the symptoms are usually noticed first during childhood and adolescence.

OCD causes repetitive, unpleasant thoughts (obsessions) or behaviors (compulsions) that are difficult to control. Everybody has worries or habits however these don’t cause much distress and don’t interfere with normal life, but in children suffering from OCD these obsessions and compulsions consume significant amounts of time (more than an hour per day), may interfere with a person’s daily schedule, and may cause significant distress.


About 1% percent of children and adolescents are estimated to suffer from OCD. Many factors such as genetics, stress and environmental factors contribute to the development of this disorder.

Symptoms of OCD In Children:


  • Recurrent fears about germ contamination, hand washing to avoid germ contamination, excessive tidying to prevent extreme discomfort or fatal consequence
  • Recurrent worry that a family member may become sick
  • Preoccupation with perfection or tidiness.
  • Fear of becoming fatally ill
  • The child throws tantrums if a parent insists that the child move on to the next task
  • Concentration can be affected by persistent, repetitive thoughts that are not known to others. Finishing work in the appropriate time sometimes becomes difficult, and just starting schoolwork can be difficult, too.

Compulsions (rituals):

  • Bathing and washing hands for hours each day
  • Checking locks
  • Silently counting, praying, or repeating words
  • The child with the compulsions often believes that performing these rituals will prevent a bad event (for example, “If I count to five every time I talk to my dad, then he won’t die”).


Adults with OCD may recognize that their obsessions or compulsions are not rational or normal however a child or adolescent may not have such awareness.

The child often attempts to hide obsessions or compulsions. Very often children cannot ignore their symptoms and, instead, feel they must continue their rituals.

Some children recognize that they think and differently than others their age, this causes the children to have low self-esteem.

Symptoms of other disorders, such as ADD, autism, and Tourette’s syndrome can also look like obsessive-compulsive disorder, so a thorough medical and psychological exam is required before any diagnosis is made.

Obsessive Compulsive DisorderThere are many options available for treating OCD in children. These include psychotherapy with a child psychologist, medicines may also be prescribed to treat the child.

It’s important to know that OCD is an anxiety disorder, and in children, the symptoms of anxiety usually change over time. So a child with OCD symptoms will not necessarily have OCD as an adult, however these symptoms need to be treated at an early stage to prevent worsening of symptoms.

If your child is suffering from OCD in children symptoms and would like to take control of your anxiety without medications, then take a minute and check the various effective treatment methods out. It will show you the way to get rid of OCD in children.

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