Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is one of the most common psychiatric problems faced by children, although frequently not diagnosed or treated. OCD is a neurological illness. Many children diagnosed with OCD also turn out to have other brain-based disorders, particularly attention deficit disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD). Psychiatrists sometimes categorize patients who have certain common OCD behaviors as "counters," "cleaners," "checkers," and "hoarders."
Childhood OCD can be a truly debilitating disability, not just a minor problem or personality quirk. Children with OCD experience extreme anxiety, embarrassment, sometimes even harassment, because of this disorder. Their OCD symptoms often prevent them from building good relationships, from achieving their best in school, and from having a normal childhood. The effects of this disruption can be painful and lifelong.
The good news is that OCD is very treatable. With prompt, consistent intervention, most young people with OCD can wrest back control of their lives. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder helps parents:
- Secure an accurate and complete diagnosis
- Live with OCD in the family: using effective parenting techniques, building support systems, and handling difficult issues
- Understand medical interventions
- Explore therapeutic and other interventions, such as cognitive therapy and vitamins or supplements
- Get care with an existing health plan, even with no coverage of "mental disorders"
- Navigate the special education system
Author Mitzi Waltz, an advocate for children's neurological issues, has included the stories of dozens of parents and adolescents.