Treatments for Children with OCD

Often children with obsessive compulsive disorder tend to have a difficult time in dealing with the compulsions and obsessions that come with the disorder. These difficulties are also felt by the parents and other family members as well as those who may be otherwise closely related to the child. Thus, it becomes important that the parents find help as soon as possible to help the child to cope with the disorder.

There are several treatments that can be used to successfully control most, if not all, symptoms of OCD. One should carefully consider the advantages as well as the disadvantages of each method before choosing a particular one to follow.

Professional Treatment – One of the best ways that has been proven to help OCD children deal with their compulsions and obsessions is professional help. Professional help can be in many forms:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is one of the most successful therapeutic treatments that have been used for years to treat OCD symptoms. Children with obsessive compulsive disorder often develop the illogical fear of inanimate objects e.g. salt, dirt, water, etc. Depending on the fear and the obsession that the child may have, cognitive behavioral therapy may be used to help the child move past these fears.

Cognitive behavioral therapy involves procedures such as repetitive exposure to the causative agents for fear. Moreover, in order to ensure that the treatments are successful, the treatment has to be reinforced at home.

Cognitive therapy may also involve helping the child understand that their obsessive thoughts are just plain thoughts. Obsessive children often have a ritual to doing everything. The therapist learns this ritual and exposes the child to situations whereby they cannot practice the ritual. A while after the exposure, the child comes to terms with the fact the ritual does not accomplish anything.

A popular form of therapy is play therapy. This therapy can be easily reinforced at home as all it involves is using the child’s toys to teach proper behavioral patterns.

Obsessive compulsive disorder has been linked to low serotonin level secreted by the brain. Medication may be prescribed to the child to boost serotonin levels thus controlling the disorder.

Family Advice
OCD can be quite a trying condition for the child as well as the family members. Initially, family members may not understand why the child conforms to the obsessions and compulsions characteristic of the disorder. Therapists advise that the family members take an active role in the therapy sessions as this will help nurture the child into abandoning the obsessions and compulsions. While OCD is indeed serious, it can be controlled.

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