Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: Encouraging Your Child To Stay Positive

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"He knows not his own strength who hath not met adversity." - William Samuel Johnson

Interesting Fact - The word "Normal" is derived from a latin word "norma." This Latin word refers to the equal measurements of a carpenter's square.

We all have heard about people who are exceptionally particular about washing their hands and feet repeatedly.

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We have also heard of people who spend hours checking the locks of their doors before leaving their home.

Some of us have even joked about being borderline OCD because we love something and we can't stop doing those things.

The fact that most people don't know about is, people who complete such seemingly harmless rituals or behaviours on a daily basis are affected with a serious problem.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, most commonly known as OCD, is a psychiatric condition that can be triggered in children between the ages of 10 and 12 years. In the case of early onset, OCD can be triggered in children who are 7-8 years old.

The onset of OCD in children is caused due to a combination of 3 elements that are genetic, biological and environmental risk factors.

So far, no single "OCD" gene has been found that is solely responsible for this condition.

Although treatable but not completely curable, this disorder changes the lives of the children it affects. This disorder also significantly disrupts the life of families and friends.

Continue reading to know how to minimise the adverse effects of OCD in your child and why positivity is a must in this situation.

The Difference Between Obsessions and Compulsions

In the clinical sense, OCD is basically split into 2 parts, obsessions and compulsions. If the obsession is a serious fear of germs, the compulsion is to wash oneself repeatedly. At times, the person affected with this disorder might also get obsessive thoughts that he/she might rid with compulsive actions.

OCD is often accompanied with Motor Tics that cause the child to experience sudden and uncontrollable movements. Repeated shoulder shrugging, head jerking, out-of-the-ordinary eye movements are a few examples of tics. Symptoms can get worse or they can improve with time.

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Finding The Strength To Be Positive In A Grim Situation

The symptoms of OCD do not go away, they do not vanish with time. This life-time long illness is here to stay.

However, it is very important for parents to adjust to the new situation quickly. It is important for parents not to show their grief in front of their child.

Crying in front of your child or blaming him/her will only add to the stress he/she experiences. Added stress is proven to worsen the symptoms of OCD. Added stress is also known to cause children to develop a low self-esteem.

All Hope Is Certainly Not Lost!

Children are intuitive. They can sense when something is wrong even if their parents don't mention it. Seeing you positive will help him/her become positive as well. In fact, your child needs your support all the more now.

Being diagnosed with OCD, Tics and other disorders is tough on children. If your child is old enough, he/she will understand that something is different in him/her. If your child is under the age of 8 years, then you might have to break the news to him/her. Ensure that you are extremely careful while doing this.

Health conditions that were not recognised a decade ago are now being successfully treated. Being diagnosed with these problems is not the end of the world. There are many ways to adjust your child's expectations and help him/her cope with it.

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There are new and improved psychotropic medicines coming in the market every day to treat both OCD and Motor Tics. Ayurvedic and Homeopathy medicines can be used in addition to reduce the outward appearance of symptoms.The primary reason it is important to break the news to your child is because he/she will be put on psychotropic medications. Your child will have to take medicines to treat the symptoms of OCD. These medicines will be evaluated and updated as time passes. Skipping doses of these medicines is not recommended by doctors.

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The adverse effects of OCD include grief, depression and even self-loathing. Children who are diagnosed with OCD tend to ask questions such as "is it my fault", "how can I make it better" and "why am I weird".
Other statements might include, "I am sorry, I dint mean to" and "what did I do wrong to deserve this".
It is very important for parents to answer these questions positively and with great care. Consulting a therapist before telling your child that he/she has OCD is always a good idea.

Remember, if your child is old enough, he/she will realise that something is not right. Getting medical and professional help at the earliest is one of the effective ways to minimise the adverse effects of this condition.

Read more about: children, kids, health, parenting
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