What is the Disorder?
OCD is a type of anxiety disorder. A child with OCD has obsessive thoughts that are not wanted. They are linked to fears, such as touching dirty objects. They can uses compulsive rituals such as hand washing to control the fears. These rituals may feel rational or irrational to the person doing them. He/she may not understand why they do these rituals. They may feel embarrassed that the behaviors occur and can't be controlled.
OCD affects children and adults alike. They however look different on different children.
Red Flags to watch out for
- Obsessions and/or compulsions take up more than one hour a day or significantly interfere with a child’s home life, school life and/or social functioning.
- Intrusive thoughts, images, impulses that make no sense and are diametrically opposed to the child’s being(loving child pictures stabbing parent, religious child fears that he hates God.)
- Repetitive behaviors I.e. excessive washing, checking, redoing, counting etc to relieve anxiety.
- Interferes with functioning- child late for school, unable to get dressed on time, unable to complete homework due to rewriting, rereading etc.
- Child fears that he or she is going crazy because of the strangeness of the thoughts.