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Signs of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) in Children

Updated on October 30, 2010


children with OCD are often afraid of germs.
children with OCD are often afraid of germs.

OCD Overview

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, more commonly referred to as OCD, is an anxiety disorder characterized by worry and rituals that often interfere with daily life.

Close to 1% of children in the United States, according to, experience symptoms of OCD that can include a fear of germs or a fear that something bad will happen to a loved one.



Observed Behaviors

 Children with OCD may appear defiant, anxious or hyper, depending on how they have learned to deal with their obsessive thoughts.  Observable behaviors include excessive handwashing, putting stuffed animals in a particular order every night and explosive outbursts when anything is out of sync in their lives.  A child with OCD feels out of control and any disruptions in routine can produce anxiety and tantrums.


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