Other disorders which may be seen with, or confused with, OCD:
70% of those diagnosed as having childhood OCD will have at least one other co-existing disorder and have an increased likelihood of developing other psychiatric disorders during their lifetime. In addition, those who indicate Tourette's Syndrome, ADHD and/or Autistic Spectrum Disorders, have a higher chance of developing OCD, than those without these conditions.
Asperger Syndrome/Autism both have stereotypical behaviours which can be confused with OCD, but someone with OCD alone does not have the communication and social deficits of AS and ASD
Body Dysmorphic Disorder 'imagined ugliness' can be an OCD obsession
Depression with OCD is not uncommon
Disruptive behaviours may result from OCD
Learning disorders such as ADD, ADHD may be worsened by OCD
Phobias OCD is an acute anxiety disorder, and people could have more than one
Nail-biting and skin-picking can be present in Autism as well as OCD. These actions may respond to the treatments prescribed for OCD
Stress can exacerbate OCD symptoms
Tourette's Syndrome resembles OCD when it presents with touching/tapping tics
Trichotillomania (compulsive hair pulling) may be part of the OCD range of activities, or a Tourette's tic
A doctor or consultant will discuss treatments that may be suitable and appropriate. Referral might be made to a local child and adult mental health service (CAMHS).
You can contact NHS Direct Online: www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk for information on your local service.
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy
This is considered the most helpful response for people with OCD. It will probably start with an in-depth assessment of the obsessions and/or compulsions. This may mean keeping a detailed diary of when problems arise. Strategies will be offered to help control behaviours, one step at a time. It is important that the person with OCD is fully involved with detailing their own behaviour modification tactics, so that they feel fully comfortable with any programme they will need to follow. Family members, and sometimes close friends also need to know what is involved, so that they too can help.
This has been shown to help about 70% of people with OCD. It provides more 'instant relief' than behaviour therapy, and that's why a combination of both is recommended for people with the disorder. The drugs used are the same as those prescribed with depression and anxiety disorders. They are chosen because they act on the brain chemicals - specifically, serotonin - which is the chemical responsible for the communication between different parts of the brain. All medication should be taken exactly as prescribed, and any side effects reported to the doctor. If you are not happy about the use of medication or if the prescribed drugs are unsuitable, then behaviour therapy can be used alone.
• OCD is a disorder, not a personality trait; OCD is nobody's 'fault'
• Be supportive, understanding, sympathetic - and patient
• Encourage and support the sufferer and any treatment put in place
• DO not encourage or support the obsessions and compulsions
• As far as possible, do not let the obsessions or compulsions force you to adapt school or home life
For more information, email us here, or call 0800 138 1184 to discuss a referral in confidence.