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Bernardo Arjona
Prof. Mirchandani
English 102
15 February 2014
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) in Children
All kids have worries and doubts. But kids with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) often
can't stop worrying, no matter how much they want to. And those worries frequently compel
them to behave in certain ways over and over again. The in this paper the main goal is to let the
parents and kids now that they are not alone. According to the American Academy of Child and
Adolescent Psychiatry, about 1 percent of children, that is, some 200,000 American children
have OCD. Months or years may pass before parents become aware that their child has a
problem because children often hide their obsessions and compulsive behaviors. They try to
suppress symptoms until they are alone, or at least until they get home from school. Children
have a very strong need to feel accepted by others, to fit into their peer group. These kids present
a series of symptoms and behaviors that help the parents identify if their kids suffer from OCD
and, luckily, nowadays there are methods that can be used to treat this kind of disorder in
The obsessive-compulsive disorder is a psychiatric syndrome that belongs to the group of the
disorders of anxiety characterized by obsessions and compulsion. The obsessions are recurrent
and persistent ideas, thoughts, images or impulses that are ego-dystonic,, this meaning that is not
experienced as something thatis produced voluntarily, but rather as thoughts which they invade
the conscience, and that are lived like repugnant or without sense. The patient makes attempts to
ignore them or to suppress them, sometimes without obtaining it. Moreover, the compulsions are

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repetitive conducts and apparently finalists, who are made according to certain rules of
stereotyped form. The conduct is not an aim itself, it is designed to produce or to avoid some
event or future situation. Nevertheless, or the activity is not connected realistically with that
thing, or event trying to prevent or to cause, or can be clearly excessive. The act is made with a
sensation of subjective compulsion, along with a desire to resist to the compulsion, at least

In Children suffering from this type of disorder, the thought appears dominated by an
intrusive idea or series of ideas that they look forward to extinguish with ritual behaviors, almost
always very capricious. They are totally conscious of its upheaval, that a depression is lived as
and can be associated to a feeling of fault or shame. This obsessions and compulsions represent a
source of discomfort that interferes in their social functions. Usually, many children with OCD
have an irrational fear of harming others or self, excessive moralization, and religiosity are often seen in
children with OCD. Children with OCD frequently have a tendency toward perfectionism and rigidity or
stubbornness. They are likely to have above normal intelligence, have a more adult-like moral code, have
more anger and guilt, be disruptive, and have a more active fantasy life.

The children with OCD have these thoughts and carry out these rituals at least one hour most
of the days and often by more time. The reason by that OCD interferes with its lives is that they
cannot stop these thoughts or rituals, in such a way that, for example, sometimes the school
needs, the work, or meetings with friends.
It is important to distinguish between the compulsive characteristics obsessive and the
obsessive-compulsive symptoms. According to a series of made studies, almost everybody has
one or two rituals. The difference resides in the degree of anxiety and conviction of the necessity

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to make the compulsion. Children with OCD feel that they cannot control his anxiety of another
form other than succumbing to the compulsions. Their brains say to them that making the rituals
will diminish the fear. He is better to reject or to identify that conduct like a symptom, not like
failures. The conducts become symptoms of an upheaval if they are not wished and they
interfere in the social or labor relations. When a child with OCD tries to contain these thoughts
or behaviors, this creates enormous levels of anxiety. Kids who feel embarrassed or as if they're
"going crazy" may try to blend the OCD into the normal daily routine until they can't control it
According to Signs of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder in Children (Adapted and expanded
from Detecting Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder in Children and Teens, by Cherlene Pedrick),
among the sings manifested by children suffering from OCD some the most common sings are
being overly concerned with dirt and germs, frequent hand washing or grooming, often in a
ritualistic manner, long and frequent trips to the bathroom, avoiding playgrounds and messy art
projects, especially stickiness, avoiding touching certain "unclean" things, excessive concern
with bodily wastes or secretions, insistence on having things in a certain order, having to count
or repeat things a certain number of times, having "safe" or "bad" numbers, repeating rituals,
such as going in and out of doors a certain way, getting in and out of chairs in a certain way, or
touching certain things a fixed number of times (this may be disguised as forgetfulness or
boredom), excessive checking of such things as doors, lights, locks, windows, and home, going
over and over letters and numbers with pencil or pen, fear of doing wrong or having done wrong,
excessive hoarding or collecting, withdrawal from usual activities and friends, Excessive anxiety
and irritability if usual routines are interrupted, daydreaming - the child may be obsessing,
inattentiveness, inability to concentrate or focus (often mistaken as ADD), getting easily, even

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violently upset over minor, trivial issues, repetitive behaviors including aimlessly walking back
and forth in the hall, persistent lateness to school and for appointments, re-reading and rewriting, repetitively erasing.
There are many theories that try to explain the causes of the obsessive compulsive disorders
(OCD), reason why psychologists think that it could be a combination of several of them. Its
known that there are important genetic factors that they are implied in his development, but the
transmission way is still not known. In many cases, an event exists that can act as leading factor
of the OCD like diseases, the death of a dear being, among other significant events that may
have had an impact on the child. Also, the type of education that the children receive by their
parents play an important role in its development, even more if the education methods applied to
the child are too strict and/or severe in nature.
Likewise, there exist alterations at the level of the frontal lobe of the brain. These range from
alterations in the information processing to alterations in substances. Substances like serotonin
could be implied as cause of OCD in children. The certain thing is that the exact and/or concrete
cause is still yet to be found, but the combination of the biological factors and social factors can
explain the alterations that are present in children suffering from this disorder.
The difference when talking about OCD between adults and children its that adults usually
seek treatment because OCD is interfering with their regular life styles. Children don't always
recognize that they have a problem, so they might not tell their parents about it at the beginning.
They are often brought to the doctor when they exhibit unacceptable behavior and difficulty in
school. But the important part its that children and their parents need to know there is hope and
help for children with OCD.

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The most recommended treatment for children with OCD is a combination of both cognitivebehavioral therapy and medicaments. The therapy includes prevention of the answer and
exhibition. One encourages the child to face his fears and to find the way to control the anxiety.
It is possible to face the child with the fear or object feared, in order to treat the compulsive
conduct in a more careful way. The cognitive-behavioral therapy is based in changing to the
irrational beliefs and thoughts that contribute with this upheaval. The objective is to help the
children to recognize the illogical nature of its fears and to change them. The medicines
prescribed for the TOC include selective inhibitors of serotonin (Specific Serotonin Reuptake
Inhibitor, SSRI): Luvox (fluvoxamina), Paxil (paroxetina), Prozac (fluoxetina) and Zoloft
(sertralina). Most of the children who are medicated improve constantly, but they can fall and
need additional treatment. This treatment helps children recognize and control their symptoms,
and if implemented correctly, the intensity of the effect caused the child will reduce, and
progressively symptoms will completely disappear.
It's important to understand that OCD is never a child's fault. Once a child is in treatment, it's
important for parents to participate, to learn more about OCD, modify their expectations because
the most important factor during this treatment is the parents and family support and
understanding. This way the child will feel more secure and comfortable talking about and
opening up regarding this issue, making the treatment not only more effective, but a lot easier
and faster.


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American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. "Obsessive-Compulsive

Disorder In Children And Adolescents." Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder In Children
And Adolescents. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Mar. 2014.

International OCD Foundation (IOCDF). "OCD in Children and

Teens." International OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) Foundation. N.p., n.d.
Web. 19 Mar. 2014.

OCD Resource Center of Florida. "Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder in Kids." OCD

Resource Center of Florida:. N.p., 19 Mar. 2014. Web. 19 Mar. 2014.

Nemorus. "Obssesive Cumpulsive Disorder." Kids Health. N.p., 17 Nov. 2014. Web.
17 Nov. 2014.