What is OCD?
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, or OCD, is a disorder that involves the presence of obsessions and compulsions. Obsessions are persistent thoughts, images, or urges. Compulsions are repetitive behaviors or mental acts that a child feels the need to perform in response to the obsession.
Some common themes for OCD include cleaning, symmetry, and aggressive thoughts.
These obsessions and compulsions are time-consuming and create distress and/or anxiety for your child.
What will treatment look like?
The most effective treatment for OCD is a type of therapy known as Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) therapy. This therapy focuses on exposing your child to the thoughts, images, and situations that cause distress or anxiety for your child.
While in these anxiety-provoking situations, the goal is to stay in contact with the obsession without engaging in any ritualistic behaviors or compulsions. The exposure sessions will be done with the help of a therapist, but your child will be asked to practice outside of therapy as well. This may seem scary for your child, but the therapy will be done gradually so that it is manageable for your child.
Common Types of Obsessions
Worrying about being contaminated by germs
Constantly wondering if you did something
Needing things to feel “just right”
Needing things to be in a specific order
Common Types of Compulsions
Counting or Ordering