Children Can Suffer From OCD Too- What Parents Must Know

OCD in Children
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Have you noticed your kid constantly worried about something? Is he or she taking unusually long for their regular tasks? Are they constantly erasing and rewriting things?

If you have noticed any of these symptoms, your child may be suffering from OCD.

National Institute of Mental Health defines OCD as Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) which is a common, chronic and long-lasting disorder in which a person has uncontrollable, reoccurring thoughts (obsessions) and behaviours (compulsions) that he or she feels the urge to repeat over and over.

OCD is common among adults, however not many people are aware that children manifest symptoms as well and it is important to notice these early signs to manage it effectively.

Pune365 spoke to several parents in the city and a majority were not aware of OCD in children and the specific symptoms to watch for.

Speaking to Pune365, City-based mental health specialist, Dr Sayantani Mukherjee, Consultant Psychiatrist -Columbia Asia Hospital throws light on this, “Quite a few kids have OCD and in fact, awareness has improved now…

Parents are now able to address it and are reaching out for help and treating the OCD in their children.

OCD is an obsessive-compulsive disorder is a condition due to which children have unwanted thoughts, feelings, fears, mixed emotions. OCD leads to behaviours called obsessions which makes kids feel anxious. It also leads to performing behaviours called compulsions.

Mukherjee further shares, Fears that children with OCD can’t stop thinking about are called Obsessions, Kids may realise that their thinking makes no sense, yet, feel anxious about few things.

  • Their fear may include them assuming to be someone else, will get sick, hurt, or die.
  • A bad thought or a mistake
  • If they lie about anything or break any rule, they may feel they committed a sin.
  • Cleaning things even when they’re clean
  • Believing in luck, unlucky, bad or good.

On the other hand, compulsions are the things that make kids do things repeatedly. It makes them feel like they need to follow a ritual and ensure things are clean, safe, arranged in order and organised at the designated place

  • It includes washing, cleaning
  • Rewriting and erasing things
  • Questioning much more than required, repeating things.
  • Touching or tapping more often
  • Rechecking the switched off lights, door lock.

While questioning on how kids get OCD Dr Mukherjee says, “There is no concrete evidence yet on how OCD is developed.

According to a few research studies, it shows that biological factors play an important role. Kids may get OCD due to an infection or through their genes. OCD differs from child to child.

Symptoms/Signs parents need to watch for: 

  •  Lack of concentration in the children studies and his favourite activities.
  • Taking longer than usual, for example getting dressed, eating, shower or homework
  • Getting upset if things are done inappropriately or not in the same way
  • Trouble to decide or choose
  • Act irritable, sad and angry often.

Whenever parents notice the odd behaviour/low mood/ distracted /deviating from the routine they should consult a Psychiatrist

Speaking about the treatment, Dr Mukherjee opines that OCD can be treated with medication and therapy. However therapy cannot be performed at a very young age, the child needs to be in his teens to get the therapy.

Parents can help by talking supportively and listening actively. If a child is going through therapy, parents should participate in those therapy sessions too, she added.

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#All views reflected in this article are those of the respondents and Pune365 does not necessarily subscribe to them. Medical information mentioned is for reader awareness only and is not to be construed as professional advise/remedy. 

Ankita Malekar

Ankita Malekar

A talkative tiny speck in the world of Media, with an itch for travel and paws.
Ankita Malekar

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