Help for Parents of Children with OCD
Having a child with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) can be very difficult for parents and the whole family. Research suggests family-based cognitive therapy maybe particularly helpful.
OCD involves distressing and uncontrollable thoughts (obsessions) and behaviors aimed at reducing the distress (compulsions). Compulsions can involve repeating activities such hand washing, safety checks, praying or counting. OCD in children can cause problems with everyday function and can interfere with the child’s social development and school participation.
OCD affects an estimated 2 to 3 percent of children. Approximately 80 percent of adults with OCD experienced symptoms before age 18. OCD often occurs along with other mental health conditions. One study of young children (5 to 8 years) with OCD found more than half had other disorders such as generalized anxiety disorder or specific phobia. If untreated, it often continues into adulthood.