Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) (in Children)

Child & Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychotherapy
Women's & Reproductive Psychiatry and Psychotherapy
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In-Person care in Bethesda, MD
Telehealth appointments in Maryland, Virginia, DC,
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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is characterized by persistent and unwanted thoughts and fears (obsessions) that compel you to engage in repetitive behaviors (compulsions). These obsessions and compulsions often disrupt daily activities and lead to significant distress and anxiety.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) (in Children) Q & A

Recognizing OCD Symptoms

OCD typically presents with a combination of obsessions and compulsions. While some individuals may experience only obsessive or only compulsive symptoms, these manifestations can significantly interfere with daily routines and social, academic, or occupational functioning.

Obsessions may include:

  • Fear of contamination from touching certain objects
  • Persistent doubts about locked doors or appliances
  • Intense anxiety when things are not organized or aligned a certain way
  • Intrusive thoughts of causing harm to oneself or others
  • Unpleasant and unwanted sexual thoughts
  • Avoidance of situations triggering obsessions, such as avoiding handshakes

Compulsions may manifest as:

  • Excessive and repeated hand-washing leading to raw skin
  • Repeatedly checking locked doors or turned-off appliances
  • Counting or arranging items in specific patterns
  • Silent repetition of prayers, words, or phrases
  • Imposing rigid rules or rituals to alleviate anxiety related to obsessive thoughts
  • Seeking Support for OCD

How is OCD different in Children?

OCD can manifest differently in children compared to adults due to the distinct developmental stages and cognitive capacities of each group. In children, OCD symptoms might be less apparent or recognized, often being mistaken for normal childhood behaviors. Children may have difficulty articulating their distress or understanding that their thoughts and actions are not typical. Additionally, children may experience shifts in the nature of their obsessions and compulsions as they grow and develop. As compared to adults, children with OCD might have more difficulties managing their symptoms independently and may require increased support from caregivers and mental health professionals to effectively address their condition. Early intervention and tailored treatment plans are crucial for managing and mitigating the impact of OCD on the developing minds and behaviors of children.

The dedicated team at WCWCW is experienced in recognizing and addressing the unique challenges of childhood OCD, providing compassionate care and comprehensive support for children and their families. Contact our office or request an appointment online to learn more about how we can assist in managing OCD symptoms in children. We provide the same high-quality service via telehealth for patients living in Maryland, DC, Virginia, Michigan, Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Texas,.and Florida.

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