How to Deal with OCD in Kids
OCD or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is a mental illness which was thought only to affect the adults, but that is not true. In earlier times, mental illness was not given much importance and was hence mostly ignored. People who suffered from trauma and mental illnesses were treated as insane and were shunned from society. It was considered best to isolate them than to interact with them. But as the research and studies in psychology grew, so did the awareness. Though there has been tremendous work done in the field of mental illness and well being, there is still a long way to go. A dire need to spread awareness about it in the society can also be felt.
As mentioned earlier, it was thought that OCD was thought only to affect adults and not kids, but a recent study showed that almost 4% of children around the globe are suffering from OCD. The study was conducted on kids below 10 years of age. 4% may seem a small number, but 4% of 125 million kids is 5000000 lives. And this is more than a lot. These kids may start showing signs of OCD at the age of 5 or 6, so parents need to be careful and observe their children. I am going to share tips and suggestions for the parents so that they can monitor their kids and stay alert. Have a look:
OCD in Kids
How to determine if your kid is suffering from OCD?
Kids and toddlers have a very different mindset than people at other stages of life. They are somehow programmed to sort things, create an unruly pattern which is perfectly fine by them, move on imagination and curiosity. They engage themselves in tasks that make sense to them. Hence parents should take extra care of kids at this stage. It is normal for toddlers to do certain things in a certain way, and they won’t budge from it; it doesn’t necessarily mean that they have OCD. You will have to be cautious and look for signs. If their behaviour is making them upset or if it is affecting them negatively, then you need to seek help. If they are arranging things or sorting things, then it should not make them upset, it should be a positive part of their activity. Patients with OCD are very stringent about rules and minute details. So if you don’t do anything accordingly, then they get angry, upset, and may even cry. They become anxious also if one step is missed or performed twice.
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Suggestions for Parents who have a Child with OCD
Parenting in itself is a tough task, especially when you have a toddler. You have to take the utmost care and keep an eye on them so that they won’t mess things or, worse, hurt themselves. Taking care of children with OCD can be more than severe, but with suitable conditions and proper awareness, one can ease the process. Parents or caretakers should gather as much information as possible. They also need to understand that as they are dealing with children, and hence need to be patient as they will not get many details from them. The reason behind this is as the kids are not aware of the condition, they can’t certainly react upon it. You will have to notice the patterns, problems, what upsets them, and irrespective of the fact that it all seems complicated and challenging.
The OCD in children may not seem as evident as it is seen in teens or adult generation. So symptoms may appear different. They may have obsessions or compulsions related to rituals or some activity that they see their parents often do. They may also pick-up some obsessions from outside or from strangers.
If you are looking for various treatments to help your child as soon as possible, then you need to know some important points. CBT or cognitive behaviour therapy is one of the most prescribed treatments for kids with OCD. Also, there are some more treatments if the situation gets severe. Doctors may suggest medications like SSRIs. It may enhance the levels of serotonin, so it should be used cautiously in children as it can also add to the risk of suicidal tendencies.
You need to gather more and more information on the subject as you are dealing with kids. Adults who suffer from OCD are mostly aware of it, but kids are unaware of symptoms and may not realize even if they are doing something which may hurt them. So it is the responsibility of guardians so that nothing wrong happens.
Parents and guardians who involve in their child’s treatment can increase the efficiency of multifold. Research suggests that indirect and direct involvement of the family can help in the procedure. They can also help the therapist in providing a lot of information about the child’s and family’s background, any past diseases or medical records, etc. All this information is beneficial in the treatment and to the medical professional to prescribe and carry out an appropriate treatment. OCD in kids is something that medical professionals are quite concerned about.
The evolution of the thinking process is also quite necessary. The parents need to be there to help their kids differentiate between good and evil. During and after the treatment, the children may be left with many unanswered questions and start doubting themselves. In that case, parents play a crucial role by supporting their kids.
OCD in kids should be taken very seriously. Any process or treatment takes not only medicine but time and care as well. As your kid fights, please stand beside him/her and help her fight. It will give them strength and a sense.
Hope it helped. Let us know your thoughts below in the comments section. We would love to hear it from you.
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