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How to Help a Child With OCD

Wednesday, 23 Mar 2011 04:24 PM

OCD, or obsessive compulsive disorder, is a condition where the person suffering from it obsesses about certain aspects of everyday life. This can range from compulsive hand washing to constant worry about things being in their proper place. OCD is not exclusively an adult disorder. Children can suffer from this disorder as well. OCD is a form of an anxiety disorder that creates obsessive behavior that can potentially become dangerous to the child or the people around them if it is left unaddressed.

Some of the characteristics of obsessive compulsive disorder in children can include being obsessed with coloring inside the lines, the fear of being dirty, fear of germs, the need for order or symmetry, the fear that something bad is going to happen to a family member and in severe cases, they can have sexual or very aggressive thoughts and act on them.

How can you help your child with OCD? One of the first things you should do is seek professional help and guidance in order to obtain tools and techniques to help minimize obsessive behavior. You also need to make sure you research information online to get a better understanding of this disorder so you will know how not to trigger anxiety in your child.

You want to make sure you make notes of all the OCD behaviors you witness in your child before you seek the help of a therapist. The therapist will need to know the behaviors your child is exhibiting in order to develop a treatment plan for you and your child. Ask a lot of questions and make sure the therapist you choose specializes in child OCD and is not just a general therapist. This will ensure you get the latest and most updated treatment methods and tools to help your child.

CBT, or cognitive behavioral therapy, has shown the most success in children with OCD. Drug or herbal therapy is sometimes used in conjunction with certain cases of this disorder, but it depends on the diagnosis of the child's disorder and behavior.

You can take further steps to help your child by talking to the school if your child is of school age. Ask if their teacher is educated on OCD and if not, request a conference in order to help the teacher understand your child's needs. Your child's teacher(s) need to know what OCD behaviors your child exhibits in order to help reduce triggers in the classroom.

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