Understanding Obsessive Compulsive Disorder in Children

Obsessive compulsive disorder is a mental ailment that is commonly seen among children. As the name implies, children afflicted with OCD have certain fears and they indulge in repetitive behaviors to control these fears or obsessions. The fears or obsessions are beyond the control of the child and he keeps thinking about them, increasing worry and anxiety for himself. As these obsessions are unpleasant for the child, he indulges in behavior that he thinks he must do to get rid of his fears.

According to an estimate, nearly 2.3% of the population of the country is afflicted with OCD. Repeating an action repeatedly many times in a day wastes a lot of time and interferes with the normal functioning of the individual.

Common types of obsessions

  • Fear of getting sick
  • Worry about getting dirty or dying
  • Fear of hurting others
  • Disturbing thoughts and images against the norms of the society

Common types of compulsions

  • Checking the lock frequently
  • Washing one’s hands and face again and again
  • Cleaning a place or object again and again
  • Repeating prayers
  • Apologizing many times for mistake
  • Seeking reassurance many times

Professional help is needed when symptoms become severe

Compulsions are considered symptoms of the obsessive-compulsive disorder. They are usually reported to the doctor when family members of the patient become frustrated and see that they are interfering with the normal functioning of the individual. One feature of OCD is that the obsessions and the compulsions become severe with passage of time and family members of the victim are left with no option but to seek professional help.

The causes of OCD are not clear

Scientists have been unable to pinpoint to the exact reason behind OCD. They only suggest there is something abnormal taking place in the brain of the individual that forces him to indulge in repetitive behaviors.  However, patients afflicted with OCD have been found to be deficient in serotonin, a neurotransmitter that is said to be associated with the emotions and feelings of the individual. OCD is also found to have a genetic basis though a child with none in his family history afflicted with OCD may develop this disorder.

Treatment of OCD is dependent upon the severity of symptoms, age of the individual, and his overall health. Drugs, therapy, and family counseling are used in conjunction to bring relief to the patient of OCD.

At behavioral consulting Long Island, we are here to help our children with any mental issue they have. Our goal is to help children live a happier life.