A silent menace: obsessive compulsive disorder in teens

A silent menace: obsessive compulsive disorder in teens

Obsessive compulsive disorder sounds like such a scary mental condition. Teens have it tough enough, with their drastically changing bodies and emotions. But obsessive compulsive disorder in teens is a lot more common than you’d think. Since symptoms emerge in childhood and throughout adolescence, its one of the most common mental struggles for young people in the country. According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, obsessive compulsive disorder in teens occurs in one out of every 200 adolescents.

Knowing the symptoms

Familiarizing yourself with the symptoms of obsessive compulsive disorder in teens is important in seeing the signs in your child. Obsessive disorder in teens causes an irrational fear in teens that causes them to perform ritualized actions throughout the course of a day. Symptoms of obsessive compulsive disorder in teens include:

  • Touching particular objects over and over again for a specific number of times.
  • Checking for mistakes on homework again and again, or checking to see if they shut off electronics repetitively
  • Take a progressively longer time to get ready in the morning. They may take an abnormally long time showering, brushing their teeth or brushing their hair.
  • Washing their hands repetitively, numerous times a day. Their hands may begin cracking, drying out, and getting irritated.
  • A need for a particular order throughout their day. They may need their room to be organized in a certain way or their meals to be the same everyday.
  • They may have specific unexplained and unusual rituals, such as needing to repeat certain words a certain amount of times or opening a door a certain number of times before leaving the house.  
    obsessive compulsive disorder in teens


Negative effects

If obsessive compulsive disorder in teens grows stronger, it causes symptoms to become more and more frequent. Teens may feel less and less motivation to do well or even attend school and relationships with family and friends may begin to fall apart as teens spend more time carrying out their compulsions.

Obsessive compulsive disorder in teens is a chronic condition, which means there’s no magic cure. However, with the proper support and therapy, it can be helped.

Getting help

The ViewPoint Center, a mental hospital for teens ages 12-17, provides a comprehensive diagnostic assessment which allows for therapists to design the proper treatment for teens. The ViewPoint Center treats obsessive compulsive disorder in teens, depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and a variety of other emotional and behavioral struggles.

For more information about the ViewPoint Center, please call 801-825-5222.

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