Obsessive Compulsive Disorder – Child or Teen OCD

There are many warning signs of OCD in children and teens; sometimes it shows up as an unusual degree of meticulously checking and re-checking school assignments.
Boy Being Bullied
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, or OCD, is practically a household expression – usually with negative connotations. In psychiatry, the terminology is not used without professional evaluation; in fact, there is an important difference between OCD and OCPD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder), one of which does not respond to the same treatment as the other.

Signs and symptoms are somewhat different in children and adolescents from how they appear in adults, however, children cannot always recognize that their behaviors are not rational. OCD may start in childhood then progress to adulthood with worsening rituals, compulsions, and obsessions. Early diagnosis and treatment can drastically improve the quality of the child’s life and their future prospects for education, relationships and ability to function on a daily basis.

The obsessions or compulsions present in patients with this disorder, which are many and present differently from child to child, are extremely distressing and interfere with every aspect of their lives. Approximately half a million children in the US have OCD. This equates to about 20 teenagers in a large high school who may have OCD, or 4 -5 children in an average-sized elementary school. For these children, life is difficult and home is a tense place for the entire family. There is no cure, as there is for something like an ear infection, but there is effective management using medication, psychotherapy and behavioral techniques. Schools and families can be effective in helping, too.


O.C. Child & Family

1110 E. Chapman, Suite 201
Orange, CA 92866

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