Hello and welcome to #mentalhealthtuesday. Today, we discuss OCD in children.
What Is OCD in children?
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a condition that causes kids to have unwanted thoughts, feelings, and fears. These are called obsessions, and they can make kids feel anxious. To relieve the obsessions and anxiety, OCD leads kids to do behaviors called compulsions (also called rituals). What Are Obsessions?
Obsessions are fears that kids with OCD can't stop thinking about. They may realize their thoughts don't make sense, but they still feel anxious about certain things.
These fears might include whether:
they, or someone else, will get sick, hurt, or die
they said a bad word, had a bad thought, or made a mistake
they have broken a rule, done a bad thing, or sinned
something is clean, dirty, or germy
something is straight, even, or placed in an exact way
something is lucky or unlucky, bad or good, safe or harmful
What Are Compulsions?
Compulsions (rituals) are behaviors that kids with OCD do repeatedly. OCD causes kids to feel they have to do rituals to "make sure" things are clean, safe, in order, even, or just right. To kids with OCD, rituals seem to have the power to prevent bad things from happening.
Rituals include things like:
washing and cleaning
often erasing things, re-writing, re-doing, or re-reading
repeating a word, phrase, or question much more than necessary
going in and out of doorways several times in a row
checking to make sure a light is off, a door is locked, or checking and re-checking homework
touching or tapping a certain number of times, or a set way
having things in a specific order
counting to a certain 'good' number, avoiding "unlucky" numbers
(Source: Kid's Health)
Next week, we'll discuss how to help children with OCD.
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