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 03 9431 0331 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