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Anxiety and Stress Disorders (Children)

OCD Treatment in Children

08/15/2007

Question:

My daughter is 9 years old and has been anxiety-ridden for most of those years. She functions well but can be "high maintenance". My question is whether it is just anxiety or has an OCD component. She has both physical tics (jumping, blinking, etc.)and verbal (repetitive questions, etc.)These ratchet up in high stress times. She also can never be "in the moment" but is always moving on to the next thing (such as asking when the next playdate will be during a playdate). I would love to know a good resource for behavioral methods of treatment vs. medication. Thanks!

Answer:

Yes, it sounds like your child has an anxiety disorder and you are correct to label it OCD or obsessive-compulsive. Both medication and cognitive behavioral therapy work in this condition and are equally effective. The age of the child and kind of symptoms does determine the extent to which behavioral treatment can be implemented. There are many good self-help children's books available and most behavioral specialists are able to deal effectively with OCD. One good resource is the OC Foundation, whose website is listed below.

Related Resources:

The Obsessive Compulsive Foundation

For more information:

Go to the Anxiety and Stress Disorders (Children) health topic, where you can:

Response by:

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