Definition of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
All children have worries but children with OCD often cannot stop their worrying thoughts which become obsessional. OCD can often fall under the umbrella of anxiety disorder. Children with OCD often experience obsessional thoughts, such as needing to count to 20, despite the fact that most are aware that these are irrational.
Signs and Symptoms of OCD
These obsessional thoughts can come in many different forms below are just a few examples:
Fear of dirt, germs or contamination
A need for symmetry, order, and precision
Preoccupation with body wastes
Lucky and unlucky numbers, needing to count to a certain number
Sexual or aggressive thoughts
Fear of illness or harm coming to oneself or relatives
Preoccupation with household items
Intrusive sounds or words
Some children feel they need to carry out an action despite the fact that most are aware that this is irrational, these actions are called compulsions.
There are some common compulsions that children perform to try and alleviate the anxiety such as:
Hand washing, showering, and teeth brushing
Going in and out of doorways, needing to move through spaces in a special way, or rereading, erasing, and rewriting
Making sure that an appliance is off or a door is locked and repeatedly checking homework
Rituals to prevent harming self or others
Ordering or arranging objects
Hoarding and collecting things of no apparent value
Cleaning rituals related to the house or other items
Treatment of OCD
OCD can be treated with both medication, an anti-depressant or talking therapy or both.
An initial 1.5 hour assessment will be required.
During this time your doctor will cover the points below:
Pharmacological treatment may be required ONLY if in agreement.
30 minute follow ups will be dependent on treatment and as and when necessary depending on severity.
If Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) or family therapy is necessary a referral will be made.