Obsessive-compulsive disorder in teens

obsessive compulsive disorder in teens
Photo credit: flickr user – martinak15

“No, wait! That’s not right! I need to do it over!”
Parents of teens with obsessive-compulsive disorder are quite familiar with these words. Whether it be the way your teen exited the house, did their hair or painted their nails before leaving the house for the day, what’s “not right” could be absolutely anything. Obsessive-compulsive disorder, or OCD, is an extremely disruptive condition to a teen’s everyday life. Being a teenager is hard enough as it is, with raging hormones, stress and new, strange emotions. Obsessive-compulsive disorder in teens is a frightening, stressful experience.

What is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?

Obsessive-compulsive disorder is classified as an anxiety disorder. People with OCD feel a sense of dread that something bad will happen, to them or the people they love, unless they go through specific rituals. For some people with OCD, these rituals and bad feelings can be severe enough to completely consume their everyday lives. However, for others, symptoms are usually mild. Only one percent of the population has OCD, and in most cases, symptoms first show up in the late teen years. However, nearly one-quarter of OCD cases begin by the age of 14. Knowing the signs and treatment options are crucial to coping with this destructive disorder.

Does your teen have OCD?

If you suspect that your teen has OCD, here are some symptoms you might be witnessing:

  • Irrational worries
  • Repeated worries
  • An inability to explain rationally a repeated action (like washing hands, doing actions a specific number of times, etc.)
  • Trouble excelling in school
  • Any kind of compulsive behavior
  • Extreme distress if others interrupt a ritual
  • Resistance to stopping actions or compulsions

These are only some of the symptoms of OCD, but if you see any of these in your child, please get help immediately.

How can I help my teen with OCD?

OCD in teens can be treated with a variety of methods. One of the most common methods is cognitive behavior therapy or CBT. With CBT, a teen is guided by a therapist in becoming aware of whatever problem behaviors are plaguing their lives and guided to try alternative behaviors. Your teens can also try an individual psychotherapy method, in addition to CBT. Another method of helping your teen with OCD is wilderness therapy.

blueFire can help your teen

A wilderness therapy program, such as blueFire Wilderness Therapy, can help your teen overcome their compulsions with trained clinicians and adventure wilderness therapy techniques. Our goals are to offer fun, yet challenging experiences where reflection, self-awareness and discovery can occur, which ultimately leads to greater self-confidence.
For more information about how our wilderness therapy program can help obsessive compulsive disorder in teens, call us today at 844-413-1999.


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