In order to bring you the best possible user experience, this site uses Javascript. If you are seeing this message, it is likely that the Javascript option in your browser is disabled. For optimal viewing of this site, please ensure that Javascript is enabled for your browser.
 EMAIL TO FRIEND     |      PRINTER FRIENDLY     |    
          advertisement

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder & Children

Also called: OCD & Children

- Summary
- About child OCD
- Risk factors and causes
- Signs and symptoms
- Diagnosis methods
- Treatment options
- Questions for your doctor

Reviewed By:
Steven A. King, M.D.
Tahir Tellioglu, M.D., APA, AAAP

Summary

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) occurs in people who have persistent thoughts they cannot control (obsessions) and/or perform certain actions repeatedly (compulsions) in an attempt to relieve anxiety. OCD causes severe discomfort and interferes with day-to-day functioning. This condition typically begins in early childhood or adolescence. About one in every 200 children has OCD, according to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

OCD is an anxiety disorder that is characterized by two major symptoms: obsessions and compulsions. Some children experience both of these symptoms, whereas others experience just one.

An example of OCD occurs when a child repeatedly worries about someone breaking into a bedroom and checks over and over to make sure the windows are locked. Or, a child may become paralyzed by fear of contracting a disease and may repeatedly wash the hands to get rid of germs.

Scientists do not completely understand the exact cause of OCD. However, growing evidence suggests that chemical imbalances in the brain play a major role in the disorder. Heredity is also believed to play a role in the development of the disorder.

Typically, parents or caregivers do not seek medical attention until their child’s behavior becomes disruptive to the child’s life. If a physician suspects OCD, the child may be referred to a child and adolescent psychiatrist or other mental health professional.

Although there is no cure for OCD, certain treatments – such as a combination of psychotherapy and medications (e.g., antidepressants) – are important to help control symptoms. A form of cognitive behavior therapy known as exposure and response prevention involves gradually exposing patients to stimuli that trigger obsessive or compulsive thoughts and teaching new ways to deal with these thoughts.

page 1 of 7 | Next Page




Review Date: 06-27-2007
Video

If pain lingers for months and interferes with your life, chances are...

Tina Johnson of Women's Health magazine discusses the symptoms...

Dr. Gail Saltz talks about the red flags for chronic worriers and how they can lessen...

Dr. Saltz tells Maria Menounos how to recognize them and keep them...

Coronary artery disease patients are more likely to suffer chest pain...

The threat of losing your home or savings can really make couples...

Advice From Dr. Nancy Snyderman

Dr. Nancy Snyderman

Helpful tips and information on weight loss

Get answers from an expert
advertisement
advertisement

YourTotalHealth      

Home  |  Health Centers  |  Health A-Z  |  Staying Healthy  |  Diet & Fitness  |  Woman & Family  |   |   |  

also on iVision:  |   |   |   |   |   |   | 

 |   |  Site Map  |   | 

Copyright (c) 2000-2009 iVision Inc. All rights reserved. The information provided on this site is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition.