OCD is characterised by excessive or intrusive thoughts (obsessions) that lead to repetitive behaviours (compulsions). It is normally accompanied by high levels of anxiety and often the compulsions need to be completed to give respite, although brief, from the anxiety driving the compulsion.
Whilst hand washing and locking door compulsions are well recognised OCD behaviours, these are less common symptoms in children. Children may experience hoarding, repetition of words – for example, having to say everything 3 times or fear about loved ones or self, dying or even having to go through certain rituals before they can go to bed or leave the house.
OCD can be very impactful on daily living and affect the whole family. Kids don’t always want to talk about the fears or behaviours caused by OCD as they may feel embarrassed and not want to be different to the other kids.
It has been estimated by Dr Swedo (1) that about 25% of children with OCD have pediatric acute onset neuropsychiatric syndrome (PANS or PANDAS), where symptoms start after an infection. Find out more about PANS & PANDAS [insert link].
Regardless of the cause, natural medicines can help children with OCD. N-acetyl cysteine for example, has been found to reduce severity of OCD symptoms (2).
We have naturopaths and clinical nutritionist that have extensive expertise in managing OCD in children and helping you to determine the best approach to reduce severity of symptoms, how to work alongside other medications and diet/lifestyle strategies to support optimal neurotransmitter balance and reduce anxiety.
Like to know how we can help your child with OCD, Tics and PANS or PANDAS? Call 1300 1REMED or 1300 173 633 or book an appointment online.
- Pandas Network. Statistics [accessed 27/06/19] available from www.pandasnetwork.org/statistics/
- Oliver G, et al. N-Acetyl Cysteine in the Treatment of Obsessive Complusive and Related Disorders: a systematic review. Clin Psychopharmacol Neurosi. 2015; 13(1): 12-24
Tics re compulsive, repetitive sound or movement that one has no control or difficulty controlling. They can be verbal or motor tics, simple (for example eye blinking) or complex in nature, involving multiple movements of different parts of the body.
Causes are tics include Tourette’s syndrome, rheumatic fever and PANS & PANDAS.
Tourette’s syndrome usually starts in childhood and can last for a few years or be lifelong. Some of the first symptoms include blinking, eye rolling, grimacing or shoulder shrugging. It can also cause coprolalia or blurting out offensive words.
Some children that have been diagnosed with Tourette’s syndrome may actually have PANS or PANDAS because it can be difficult to ascertain the difference in children.
PANS is an acronym for pediatric acute-onset neuropsychiatric syndrome and is characterised by obsessions, compulsion and/or tics with severe anxiety and development regression such as bedwetting, handwriting or school work suddenly going backwards following an infection.
We have specific practitioners are ReMed that are very experienced in helping families impacted by tics, Tourette’s syndrome and PANS & PANDAS. We have developed an innovative treatment model that focuses on reducing neuro-inflammation and immune dysregulation, the underlying drivers in these conditions, with outstanding clinical results.