OCD in Teenagers | Orlando CBT & ERP Therapy & Treatment
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder characterized by obsessive thoughts and compulsive actions. This disorder can be disabling and persistent if not treated. Teenagers face many changes, both physically and mentally, which can trigger anxiousness, and OCD.
Most Common Subtypes of OCD In Teens:
- Checking – In this subtype of OCD, the need to check is the compulsion. The fear that causes the obsession might be the need to prevent negative or disastrous repercussions for not checking. One with this subtype might repeatedly check their doors, windows, fire alarms, house alarms, wallet, and even check on people to make sure they are okay.
- Contamination/ Mental Contamination – In this subtype of OCD, the person’s need to wash and clean is the compulsion. The fear that often causes the obsession is that the contaminated item or person may cause an illness or even death to themselves or someone they love. This person might not be able to shake hands with people, use public bathrooms or telephones, visit hospitals, or eat in public restaurants. These people often wash their hands or brush their teeth excessively.
- Hoarding – In this subtype of OCD, the person is unable to let go of old possessions. Their fear is that they might need it in the future and not having it may cause some detrimental repercussions.
- Ruminations/ Intrusive Thoughts – In this subtype of OCD, the person spends a long time thinking about a question that does not serve any productive function in their life. They also can suffer from repetitive obsessional thoughts. The thoughts can often be disturbing and/-or violent.
If your teenager present with symptoms consistent with OCD, it is important to seek treatment to help them regain control over their thoughts, and compulsive behaviors. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) does not go away by itself, it actually can get progressively worse if not treated promptly. Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) is the most highly researched, empirically valid, and evidenced based treatment for OCD in all age populations, including teens. CBT helps clients identify thoughts contributing to feelings of anxiousness, which then trigger compulsive behavior. A trained CBT therapist will also often utilize Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP). During ERP, the client is gradually and repeatedly exposed to the situation that they fear, in order to decrease compulsive behaviors, and increase the client’s ability to not respond to obsessional thoughts.
If your teen is struggling with OCD, our trained Cognitive Behavioral Teen Therapists at GroundWork Counseling in Orlando are here to help.
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