Adolescents with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
Obsessive compulsive disorder, or OCD, develops in adolescence. OCD is characterized by strong obsessions and compulsions that cause severe distress and impair daily functioning. Obsessions are uncontrollable and recurring thoughts. They even include distressing and anxiety-inducing images and impulses. Usually, these emotions and thoughts are unreasonable or unrealistic. Compulsions are rituals or behaviors that are repeated over and over, such as checking something repeatedly or mental processes such as counting. Obsessions and compulsions produce a great deal of anguish and anxiety, and they can disrupt everyday tasks, relationships, social activities, and academic performance. The OCD sufferer believes he has little control over his behavior. OCD is a recurrent and long-term condition.
As the teenager matures, so do his or her thoughts. Younger children with OCD frequently have nightmares about damage coming to them and their families, such as a thief breaking in via an unlocked door. This will cause the children to repeatedly check the door and windows for fear of leaving the door unlocked by accident. Teenagers with OCD are afraid of being ill as a result of germs, tainted food, or AIDS. To overcome the phobia, the adolescent establishes particular habits, such as washing hands numerous times. These rituals make individuals believe that they have temporarily overcome the problem and provide them with momentary relief. They feel increasingly agitated if they do not follow these habits.
OCD is a symptom of abnormal brain circuitry functioning in the striatum region of the brain. Normal people and people with other mental conditions have different brain activity patterns than these folks. OCD is a brain illness that is generally a family problem, according to researchers. OCD can be caused by or worsened by streptococcal bacterial infection. Even if there is no familial history of OCD, adolescents can develop it. The majority of teens are embarrassed to discuss their OCDs. They believe that if they are labeled as insane, it will make them feel ashamed. This makes it difficult for parents to talk to their children about their OCD and help them overcome it. For this, parents must improve their communication abilities. The adolescent also needs the support of his or her parents. Cooperation is crucial, as is treatment because if the problem is not addressed, the adolescent will develop into a troubled adult.
The majority of teenagers with OCD can benefit from treatment. Psychotherapy and drugs such as fluoxetine, clomipramine, fluvoxamine, paroxetine, sertraline, and other serotonin reuptake inhibitors may be used to treat depression. When OCD is caused by a streptococcal infection, antibiotics can be given to the adolescent to destroy the bacteria that is causing it. In the treatment of OCD, exposure and response prevention behavioral therapy is particularly effective. The adolescent is frequently exposed to his or her concerns, which cause him or her to have obsessive thoughts, in this therapy. After that, he or she is taught to avoid these ideas and the rituals that he or she does to deal with anxiousness.
Depression, substance misuse, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, eating disorders, and other anxiety disorders can all affect an adolescent with OCD. OCD gets more difficult to treat and diagnose as a person with OCD and other mental illnesses is treated.
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