Treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder in children
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder, in which children usually have obsessions and compulsions. These obsessions in children tend to be repetitive behaviors such as washing hands, ordering things, securing things; or mental actions: count, repeat words or pray. Most children w
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder, in which children usually have obsessions and compulsions. These obsessions in children tend to be repetitive behaviors such as washing hands, ordering things, securing things; or mental actions: count, repeat words or pray.
Most children with obsessive-compulsive disorder usually improve with psychological treatment that combines cognitive-behavioral counseling therapy with drug treatment. We explain what it is
How a child with obsessive compulsive disorder is treated
Cognitive Behavior Therapy aims to help the child with OCD to develop a set of strategies that are useful to overcome their emotional and behavioral problems. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy uses cognitive, emotional and behavioral techniques to generate profound changes at these three levels:
- Cognitive level: refers to thoughts, beliefs and mental patterns.
- Emotional level: refers to emotions. If the child learns to think adequately about his problem, this will lead to a decrease and / or disappearance of disturbing emotions (for example, anxiety).
- Behavioral level: refers to behaviors. If we decrease the level of anxiety of the child, the likelihood that he behaves maladaptively decreases.
The main objective of the treatment is to get the child to feel well without having to perform the neutralization, avoidance or escape behaviors. To achieve this, it is necessary, for example, to touch without problems and with naturalness those objects or people that he considers "dirty". Thus, it can be said that the ultimate goal is to eliminate the discomfort felt by the child.
How parents can detect that the child has OCD
In the psychological treatment of children's OCD, parents are also incorporated into therapeutic work, receiving psychological support, as well as specific guidelines for acting as collaborators.
It is important that parents who suspect the presence of an obsessive-compulsive disorder in their child, consult a professional in order to perform an evaluation and, in case of confirmation of the diagnosis, carry out the appropriate treatment. A timely diagnosis and treatment prevents obsessions and compulsions from becoming more complex and dysfunctional
Age of onset of childhood OCD
The age of onset in childhood is very varied, although it is not known whether this is due to the fact that it occurs so in reality or because it is difficult to detect at very young ages. However, it has been diagnosed in children of six years and even less, although the usual seems to be that it appears for the first time around ten years.
Alicia López de FezChild Psychologist Founder and Director of the López de Fez Psychology Center, in Valencia. Web of the center: //www.centropsicologiainfantil.es