Obsessive compulsive disorders

obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), body dysmorphic disorder, hoarding disorder, trichotillomania (hair pulling), excoriation (skin picking)

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder(OCD), usually begins in adolescence or young adulthood and is seen in as many as 1 in 200 children and adolescents. OCD is characterized by recurrent intense obsessions or compulsions that cause severe discomfort and interfere with day-to-day functioning. They interfere with the child’s normal routine, academic functioning, social activities, or relationships.

Obsessions are recurrent and persistent thoughts, impulses, or images that are unwanted and cause marked anxiety or distress. Frequently, they are unrealistic or irrational exaggerated fears of contamination from contact with certain people, or everyday items such as clothing, shoes, or schoolbooks, excessive doubts that he/she has not locked the door, shut the window, turned off the lights, or turned off the stove or other household appliance, marked over-concern with the appearance of homework assignments, excessive worry about symmetrical arrangement of everyday objects such as shoelaces, school books, clothes, or food, fears of accidentally harming a parent, sibling or friend, superstitious fears that something bad will happen if a seemingly unconnected behavior is done (or not done).

Compulsions are repetitive behaviors or rituals (like handwashing, hoarding, keeping things in order, checking something over and over) or mental acts (like counting, repeating words silently, avoiding).

Research shows that OCD is a brain disorder and tends to run in families, although this doesn’t mean the child will definitely develop symptoms if a parent has the disorder. OCD may develop or worsen after a streptococcal bacterial infection. A child may also develop OCD with no previous family history. Children and adolescents often feel shame and embarrassment about their OCD. Many fear it means they are crazy and are hesitant to talk about their thoughts and behaviors.

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