Obsessive Compulsive Disorder – Child or Teen OCD
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.