Pediatric Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a common disorder that often begins in childhood and is frequently unrecognized, underdiagnosed, and undertreated.

OCD is characterized by recurrent obsessions (unwanted ideas, thoughts, images, or urges) and compulsions (repetitive behaviors or mental acts) designed to ward off risk and/or to ease distress.  

Pediatric OCD is distinct from developmentally typical rituals of childhood such as rule-bound bedtime routines and superstitious behaviors. OCD is distinct from occasional uncomfortable thoughts and common childhood worries. It is more intense and persistent and the experience of OCD is more disturbing and senseless than everyday worries. 

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