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A Guide on Children with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder 300x225 A Guide on Children with Obsessive Compulsive DisorderAs kids, we loved to arrange our M&M chocolates by color. Then we also had fun grouping triangles, squares and circles. Those were remnants of our nursery school activities. After a while, we outgrew that compulsion to group things by color or shape.

However, some kids do not outgrow that desire to arrange things. As they grow older it becomes an obsession. Before they know it, their everyday life is affected by OCD–or obsessive compulsive disorder.

An American study showed that three percent of school children have full-blown OCD. Aside from that, 19 percent have milder OCD. Even new mothers can become victims of OCD. This stems from a new mother’s fear that she may harm her baby. Because of that fear, the mother has to constantly check how her child is doing even if there’s no sense to that action anymore.

Up to now, experts cannot really pinpoint the exact cause of OCD. However, there are findings that point to a possible role of the brain chemical serotonin. Others claim that OCD could be genetically passed on through generations.

Obsession versus Compulsion

Obsessions are persistent senseless thoughts. For instance, one can be thoughts afraid of the number 13. A person may be paranoid about getting   stuck in an elevator. A housewife may constantly fear intruders or an office employee may constantly fear that his computer files might be damaged by a computer bug.

On the other hand, compulsions are repeated rituals. You may arrange and re-arrange your socks in the closet until you get sleepy doing so. A girl may spend hours putting on nail polish, removing. it then putting it on again. Your mother may not be able to eat without bringing a plate of bread-crumbs for the stray birds in your garden and so on…

Is It OCD Or Just A Harmless Ritual? Kids naturally develop rituals. That is part of their need to master certain skills. It also gives certain skills. It also gives them a sense of control. OCDs are different in the sense that the things people with OCD do are senseless and/or excessive. A child who insists on being read a fairy tale before bedtime is just enjoying a ritual. But a child who insists on the same story (or even the same page) over and over again may already have mild OCD. The disorder can stick until the child grows up. In other people, the disorder resurfaces in another form. For instance, a well-known showbiz personality admitted that he could not eat if the spoon and fork do not match! This example shows that OCD can greatly affect a person’s everyday life. In this case, it is advised that the person seek professional help because such serious cases of OCD do not only limit the person himself but even the people he lives with and relates to.

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