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Anxiety and Stress Disorders (Children)

ADD or OCD

09/08/2004

Question:

My daughter was 3 months premature, she is 7 now and scored high on the ADD test: emotional side. She is showing signs of OCD, washing of hands repatedly, stating she has too many thoughts, can't make up her mind, temper tamtrums still,gets upset and cries easly.

Answer:

Intrusive, unwanted, and repetitive thoughts or obsessions can be a symptom of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).  OCD is a treatable anxiety disorder that first begins in childhood and can be disruptive for both school and social functioning.  Although repetitive handwashing and other compulsions can be disturbing, they are less disruptive than the obsessive thoughts.  ADHD on the other hand tends to be a disorder of attention primarily, but a person so distracted by their obsessive thinking can look and act like they are inattentive.  I would seek professional help to sort out this issue and get specific advise on a course of therapy for your daughter's anxiety problem. 

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Response by:

Floyd R Sallee, MD
Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati