Obsessive-compulsive disorder, commonly referred to as OCD, can prevent your teen from enjoying the usual things teens like to do and can affect both their school and social environment. It can also follow them into adulthood if not diagnosed and treated. That is why it is so important to seek help if you feel your child is exhibiting any of the familiar symptoms of the disorder.
Signs and symptoms
Unusual fears are a common symptom of OCD and may involve anything from being fearful of germs to being afraid of upsetting friends and family. Fear signs may be more difficult to notice, as some fears may seem rational and be experienced by those not suffering from OCD. If your teen appears to be fixated on a certain fear or develops a sudden phobia that seems excessive, you should have your child evaluated through an OCD outpatient treatment program.
Compulsions are easier to notice and may have been with your teen even when they were younger. If you see your teen wash their hands repeatedly or be obsessed with things being in a certain order, it can be a sign. They may develop a preoccupation with certain objects, such as ceiling fans or other household items, or may become obsessed with lucky and unlucky numbers, etc.
Convincing your child to get treatment
One of the most difficult things for parents of teens suffering from OCD is they often refuse to go for treatment. They may not think they need help and fear being diagnosed with a mental illness or may not be aware of the serious nature of their illness. If your child is refusing treatment, talking to a counselor may be helpful for finding ways to motivate your teen to seek the help they need.
Methods of treatment
Counseling that consists of cognitive behavioral therapy, hypnosis, and the use of medications is often used for treating OCD. Your teen may also be coached in making healthy lifestyle changes that may include diet and exercise. Acceptance and commitment therapy is another method used to help teens work toward the goal of learning how to properly process and accept their fears of compulsions.
Untreated OCD may cause your teen to become anxious or depressed. It can also impact their ability to learn in school, participate in sports, or enjoy socializing with their friends. Fortunately, OCD outpatient treatment programs are available to help your child live a normal life.Share