How You Can Help Your Child
If your child has obsessive-compulsive disorder, there are things you can do to help her.
Some children with obsessive-compulsive disorder are not bothered by the problem, or can manage life with it. But some children have it so badly that it is hard for them to live normal lives. They need to get help.
With the right help, people with obsessive-compulsive disorder can take control of their own thoughts and behaviors. Life is a lot easier when children are not being controlled by strange thoughts or habits.
The kinds of help you can get
In behavioral therapy (be-HAIV-yur-al THER-ah-pee), you and your child will talk to a doctor who knows a lot about obsessive-compulsive disorder. The doctor will help your child learn how to see the problem and stop the thought or the compulsions.
A doctor may give your child medicine to help stop the obsessions. The medicine might also help her feel less nervous or scared. The medicine won't work right away. It can take a few months before you will know if the medicine is really helping. Sometimes, parents see improvement after a few weeks though.
Right now there are 5 different medicines that help people with obsessive- compulsive disorder. All 5 medicines work on the same chemical in the brain. That chemical is called serotonin. But the 5 medicines are not exactly the same. Ask your child's doctor which medicin is best for her. If 1 medicine does not work, another kind might. Your child's doctor may suggest a change if the first try does not work.
These medicines can have side effects.
Most of these side effects go away after 1 or 2 weeks.
Medicine by itself does not usually work as well as medicine and therapy together. Medicine is not instead of therapy. Try to get your child both kinds of help, because this problem is best to fix when your child is young. Obsessive and compulsive behaviors can become life-long habits.
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