Monday, January 23, 2012

Obsessions May Start Very Early in Childhood

Symptoms for obsessive-compulsive disorder may appear as early as age 3, Michael Miller, M.D., editor-in-chief of the Harvard Mental Health Letter, reported on January 17. Signs of the disorder in these young children may include concern about sameness and symmetry, insisting that things be perfect, insisting on certain bedtime routines, or developing superstitions and rituals such as avoiding cracks in the sidewalk.

Over the past decade, several randomized controlled trials as well as literature reviews have concluded that both cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and medication can help children better manage obsessive-compulsive disorder, but a combination of both interventions is best, Miller said. The ideal approach is to try CBT before turning to medication, he noted.

Read much more about this topic in two volumes from American Psychiatric Publishing—Obsessive Compulsive Disorder in Children and Adolescents and Impulsivity and Compulsivity.

Image: Caimacanul/


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