OCD in Kids

What Is Obsessive Compulsive Behavior?

There are two sides to the obsessive compulsive condition. on one side, you have obsessions. They are described as thoughts and impulses that come out of nowhere. The person suffering from them doesn’t want to necessarily act on them, but feels that they are powerless to control them.

Obsessions can revolve around any type of thought. One is fear. Fear of doing something or succumbing to something can result in thoughts that occupy every waking thought. Here’s an example. The fear of having your home broken into may lead to constant thoughts of what might happen if someone did get in. These thoughts don’t cease even when you know that your doors are locked.

Another type of obsessive thought may concern impulses. Wanting to hurt or harm someone or yourself is an impulse, especially when nothing has happened to warrant the action. This behavior can scare a teen and make them anxious whenever they are in a situation that triggers it.

Obsessive thoughts can also surround doubts. It is usually one specific doubt that plants itself in the mind. No matter what type of certainty is given, the doubt still persists in the mind.

Having obsessive thoughts can cause untold anxiety in your teen. Unknowingly, you may become a part of their obsession and thus walk into a minefield. Obsession can trigger shouting matches, unruly behavior on the part of your teen, poor grades and isolation.

On the other side of obsession is compulsion. These are ritualistic acts that are performed repetitively as a result of an obsession. Even if the teen knows that the obsession isn’t rational, the compulsive act is a way to satisfy the obsession and reduce their anxiety.

Here’s an example. Using the thought about someone breaking in the house, the compulsive act could be constantly checking the locks several times a night whenever the obsession takes hold. This can disrupt sleep and lead to stress from sleeplessness.

Because this is a type of anxiety disorder, seeking a solution might need to involve professional help. Without therapeutic tools, a teen or young child can feel powerless to understand why they are acting in a strange manner. Through professional support, they can learn to survive their condition.

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