Child, Adolescent and Adult Psychiatry

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The Early Signs of OCD in Children

Over the years, obsessive-compulsive disorder has become common among children. On average, one in every 100 children in the US suffers from OCD. It is ideal if parents and guardians recognize the early signs that their children are suffering from OCD to help in the treatment.

What is OCD?

OCD or obsessive compulsive disorder has neurobiological basis. This condition affects how the patient thinks. A patient may have obsessions and compulsions that may last up to hours every day.

Obsessions are those thoughts that cause the patient to feel intolerable levels of fear, worry and discomfort. In order to cope with these obsessions, patients resort to compulsions or rituals. Those rituals can be noticeable through the patient’s actions like excessively washing their hands. Sometimes, however they complete their compulsions mentally.

While there is still no cure for OCD, there are methods to enable the patients to manage his condition. Early detection is key to its proper treatment.

What are the early signs and symptoms of OCD in children?

You might not know it but your child may already be suffering from obsessions and compulsions. Here are some examples.

Obsessions may include:

  • Overthinking about germs getting on them.
  • Repeatedly expressing doubts such as forgetting to lock the doors.
  • Excessively thinking that their parents or friends may get hurt.
  • Extreme attention to detail.
  • Being highly preoccupied with order, perfection and symmetry in everything

Compulsive Behaviors:

  • Having a distinct way of organizing all his personal items.
  • Excessively washing hands in fear of germs
  • Asking the same questions over and over again
  • Counting and recounting excessively
  • Checking if everything is in order
  • Inspecting if the doors are locked or the stove is turned off.

Those children who suffer from OCD may have a hard time interacting with other children in the same age group. They can regularly feel uneasiness in the outside world. Parents who suspect that their child might have OCD should understand it and its impact to his child’s life. Seeking for professional help is recommended.

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