How Do I Know If My Teen Has OCD?

OCD, or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, is a mental health condition made up of obsessions (unwanted repetitive thoughts or urges) and compulsions (actions meant to reduce anxiety caused by obsessions). Here are some common signs and symptoms that may suggest your teen has OCD.

Obsession: Fear of Contamination

A teen living with OCD may be afraid of coming in contact with dirt, germs or messes.

OCD Contamination Dirty Kitchen - Teen Rehab Photo by imallergic

Compulsion: Excessive Washing

Your teen may wash something repeatedly whether it’s their hands or a dirt spot, either real or imagined, to cope with a fear of contamination.

Compulsion Excessive Washing - Teen Rehab Photo by The Italian Voice

Obsession: Fear of Harm

If your teen has an irrational fear of harming themselves or others through accidental or unlikely means, this might be a sign of an obsession associated with OCD.

Obsession Fear of Harm - Teen Rehab Photo by avlxyz

Compulsion: Counting and Ordering

Your teen may count things or put objects in a particular order continually in an effort to reduce anxiety.

Compulsion Counting Ordering - Teen Rehab Photo by marfis75

Obsession: Violence or Aggression

Teens living with OCD may find themselves overcome with urges or impulses to commit violent or aggressive actions against someone else.

Obsession Agression - Teen Rehab Photo by tojosan

Compulsion: Repetition

A teen with OCD may repeat actions or behaviors in order to counteract their obsession or prevent it from coming true. This might even become ritualistic.

OCD Repetition - Teen Rehab Photo by aptmetaphor

Obsession: Order and Precision

A teen with OCD may become obsessed with ensuring items are ordered and precise (i.e: lining up pens neatly). They may fear negative and sometimes unrelated consequences if things are in disarray.

OCD Order Precision - Teen Rehab Photo by Michael Cory

Compulsion: Confession

A teen with OCD might also live with the compulsion to constantly confess, apologize or right wrongs that are real or perceived.

Compulsion Confession - Teen Rehab Photo by Jennifer Carmen



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