Treatment of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
by Marc J. Ranalli, M.S.
Recent research findings estimate that 1 in 200 young people suffer from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder “OCD”. This disorder can be very disruptive to personal, family, academic, social and work functioning. Regrettably, many children and adolescents with OCD are often undiagnosed, misdiagnosed, or receive inappropriate treatment. Most children with OCD are secretive about their symptoms, which can make detection of the this disorder even more difficult. This is unfortunate because good, effective treatments exist for OCD.
The first step in treating OCD is a thorough assessment of the condition. The degree of OCD symptoms and their affect on the individual can vary considerably. In developing an effective treatment plan it is essential to have a comprehensive understanding of the patient’s symptoms and their impact on the child and his/her family.
It is also frequently important to involve parents and other family members in the child’s therapy. Families often need support and assistance in how to best respond to the child’s symptoms. Psychoeducation is an important initial component to treating OCD. Children and their families often have limited or inaccurate information about OCD, it’s cause and how to best deal with it. School personnel can also be important allies in the identification of OCD symptoms in students, make referrals for therapy, and assist, as needed, in the child’s treatment.
Treatment for OCD involves Cognitive Behavioral Therapy “CBT”, and possibly supportive individual, group and family counseling. There are a number of effective medications which may also be used in treating OCD.
Appointments are available in our offices near Pittsburgh in Wexford, Robinson Township and Squirrel Hill.