A lot of kids have funny quirks that might easily be dismissed as nothing out of the ordinary. Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is something we don’t normally associate with children, but while childhood OCD can be difficult to diagnose, there are signs that parents should be vigilant for.
A German study explores the subject of OCD in more depth – particularly issues with regard to assessing and treating the anxiety disorder. Unwanted thoughts and compulsions are typical in those with OCD, but clinicians don’t like to label young children with a definitive diagnosis until an established pattern is solidified over time.
Interestingly, German researchers found that nearly 90 percent of all young patients with the diagnosis, including both teens and children, exhibited some form of obsessive cleansing. Another common trait amongst the group examined was attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) – greater than 70 percent of patients also had ADHD.
Study author, Susanne Walitza, M.D., advised that a key to successful management of the disease is prompt recognition and medical attention. According to information presented by psychcentral.com, certain characteristics of the disorder can be identified early with a proper psychodiagnostic evaluation. Left untreated, childhood OCD or that which presents itself in the teen years often persists into adulthood and can become burdensome to mental health.
Treatment for OCD can be administered in the form of behavioral therapy, which involves therapists exposing the affected person to the underlying situation that triggers the compulsive behavior, and patients work through the urge to engage in their rituals. A less popular method of treatment incorporates medication and behavioral intervention therapy.
Coping with a mental illness can be difficult – particularly when it relates to children. Individuals with OCD often need ongoing treatment strategies and tools to prevent symptoms from recurring, and Family Guidance Center has resources that can help. Researchers believe that early attention to the disorder can be beneficial in minimizing negative effects over time. Call or click to find out more about programs available in your area.