Many people with OCD may be diagnosed with other conditions, such as major depressive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, anorexia nervosa, social anxiety disorder, bulimia nervosa, Tourette syndrome, Asperger syndrome, compulsive skin picking, body dysmorphic disorder, trichotillomania, addiction, or obsessive–compulsive personality disorder due to the way their symptoms manifest. Although not everyone with who is diagnosed with these disorders will have OCD.
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 and/or compulsions that cause severe discomfort and
interfere with day-to-day functioning. Obsessions are recurrent and persistent thoughts,
impulses, or images that are unwanted and cause marked anxiety or distress. Frequently, they
are unrealistic or irrational. They are not simply excessive worries about real-life problems or
preoccupations. Compulsions are repetitive behaviors or rituals (like hand washing, hoarding,
keeping things in order, checking something over and over) or mental acts (like counting,
repeating words silently, avoiding). In OCD, the obsessions or compulsions cause significant
anxiety or distress, or they interfere with the child's normal routine, academic functioning,
social activities, or relationships.
The obsessive thoughts may vary with age and may change over time. Sometimes the obsession and compulsion are linked; A fear this bad thing will happen if they stop checking or hand washing, so they can't stop even if it doesn't make any sense.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, “Facts for Families,” No. 60 (06/01)
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.
A child may also develop OCD with no previous family history.
OCD can often be treated effectively with a combination of
psychotherapy (cognitive and behavioral techniques), exposure therapy, and certain medications. Family support and education are key factors in successful treatment.
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