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How Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Affects Children?You Must Read If You Have Children.

Updated on February 15, 2019

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Affects.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is commonly presented as a disorder faced by adults, but the disorder is common in children. The International OCD Foundation reports that about 1 in 200 children – or 500,000 children – struggle with the condition. Early intervention can help your child get the help he needs, so learn the symptoms now so you can step in if your child needs some assistance.

Symptoms of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder is defined by two key symptoms. First, the sufferer must have obsessions – intrusive thoughts or ideas that interfere with her ability to think or function. Second, the sufferer must experience compulsions – behaviors she feels compelled to do, even if she can’t give a reason why. Symptoms of obsessions include:

  • Unusual anxiety, phobias, or fears. A child might suddenly become afraid of going outside, flying, or talking to strangers.
  • The inability to ignore or repress negative thoughts.
  • Obsessive negative thoughts interfere with daily functioning. For example, a child might forget to do her homework because she’s so preoccupied by frightening thoughts.
  • The person experiencing the thoughts recognizes that the thoughts originate in her own mind. If your child literally believes that everyone is out to get her, this could be a symptom of a different disorder.

Children with OCD develop compulsions as a way to deal with obsessions.


Symptoms of compulsions include:

Repetitive, stereotyped behaviors that may have to be performed at certain times, with a certain frequency, or in a certain way. Common behaviors include hand-washing, counting, checking locks, and grooming.

The compulsions are attempts to deal with the obsessive thoughts.

A child with OCD might wash her hands repeatedly because she thinks it will keep her from getting sick, or she might count every corner she sees because she thinks it will help her make friends. Most children with OCD realize that the compulsions won’t really make the obsessions go away, but they still feel compelled to engage in the compulsion.

The compulsion causes distress.


The Disorder’s Unique Effects on Children.

Children with OCD are more likely to grow into adults with serious manifestations of the disorder. They’re also more vulnerable to other mental health disorders, and are also frequently targeted by bullies. OCD is a major distraction that can inhibit a child’s ability to make friends, do homework, or participate in extracurricular activities.

Nevertheless, some children attempt to hide their symptoms out of shame, fear, or guilt. This makes it incredibly important that parents avoid stigmatizing their children and that children aren’t punished for OCD. If your child is hiding her symptoms, some telltale signs she might have OCD include:

  • Taking significantly longer than normal to perform basic tasks.
  • Repetitively performing the same task.
  • Seeming constantly anxious.
  • Mumbling or counting to herself.
  • Chronic distraction.
  • Trouble completing daily tasks.
  • Difficulty maintaining friendships.
  • Obsessive cleanliness.

Fixation on a specific brand or product. While many children have favorite products, if your child becomes hysterical when the antibacterial soap is gone, this could be a red flag for OCD.

Article written By : Dr. Michael Lax.

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Call : 888-986-1650

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