Obsessive Compulsive Disorder in Children and Teens
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, or OCD, involves having obsessive thinking patterns that can include unwanted thoughts, images or urges that make a person feel anxious or distressed.
Individuals who have OCD have significant difficulty pushing away or ignoring these thoughts. Those with OCD also have compulsive behaviors which are an attempt to reverse the obsessive thoughts or urges by performing some sort of action. (Sometimes these compulsions are not outwardly visible to the child’s family as they are mental rituals performed internally.)
OCD is not:
-The child’s fault or the parent’s fault. Sometimes very stressful or traumatic events can bring on the disorder, but it does not cause OCD.
-A choice. If they could stop, they would.
-Something someone likes; such as being clean or organized.
-An adjective. When people say “I’m SO OCD! I love having my room all neat and tidy”, it potentially hurts and shames people who really struggle with OCD because they feel significant anxiety and fear if they don’t engage in the ritual or compulsion.