Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, OCD, is an anxiety disorder that affects people of all ages. A person with OCD experiences severe anxiety related to specific things where the level of anxiety or worry doesn’t match what is happening. The specific things that they have this reaction to are called obsessions. Teenagers can develop obsessions related to normal teenage problems like making friends, doing well in school, or fitting in with peers. But someone with OCD can develop an obsession about almost anything.
In order to deal with these obsessions, those with the condition will participate in ritualistic behaviors related to their obsession that help to ease the level of anxiety they are feeling. These behaviors are called compulsions. The need to perform this ritualized action can be so strong that it may feel impossible not to do it.
The following resources provide more information about OCD, how it is diagnosed, how it is treated, and what parents can do to support their teens.
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder in Children and Adolescents from the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychology – Provides a good overview of OCD in adolescents and provides links to other resources
- OCD in Children and Teens from the International OCD Foundation – Offers parents insight in what it is like to live with OCD, an overview of treatment options, and a resource for finding help locally.
- Child and Adolescent OCD from the National Alliance on Mental Illness – Gives parents a good overview of the most common obsessions and compulsions experienced by children and teens and discusses the effect OCD can have on the overall family
- OCD in Teens from Beyond OCD – Offers a section of information ”Just for Teens” about this disorder that includes an overview of the disorder, a list of symptoms, information on why therapy works, and links to other resources
- OCD in Children and Teens from the International OCD Foundation – Provides an explanation of what it can feel like to have OCD, a downloadable brochure about OCD, and links to information on treatment and other resources.
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Overview from the Anxiety and Depression Association of America – Provides parents with basic information on symptoms, treatment options, and offers additional information on hoarding, which can sometimes accompany OCD, even in teens.
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, OCD from the National Institutes of Mental Health – Provides a basic overview, information on symptoms and treatments, a description of common risk factors, and information on how to live with this disorder.
- The Role of Personnel in School from OCD Education Station, Beyond OCD – Although this resource is targeted at those who work in the school, it can provide valuable information for parents about what kinds of resources, assistance, and accommodations may be available to support their teen’s OCD during the school day.
- How Do I Know if My Teenager Has OCD? (doorwaysarizona.com)
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- When Eating Disorders and Anxiety Disorders Coexist (doorwaysarizona.com)