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Covid-19 We offer a full range of medical and therapy services online with no need to travel to the clinic. We remain open as usual seven days a week, so call us today, one of our medical secretaries will be able to help you on 02071180407.

SPECIALIST TREATMENT OF OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE DISORDER FOR CHILDREN AND TEENAGERS

Is your child suffering from irrational fears and uncontrollable urges or compulsions that affect their family, school and social life?
Psymplicity Healthcare specialises in the diagnosis and treatment of OCD in children and teenagers. Our highly experienced team consults closely with you, your child, their school and any specialists to thoroughly assess and diagnose the issues your child is facing. We then identify a way forward and support you with coping mechanisms and solutions that work for your child and family.
Ready to book? Online and in-person appointments with our specialist psychiatrists are now available.
Book an 85 minute online assessment for £595.

BESPOKE OCD ASSESSMENT & TREATMENT PLANS, TAILORED TO YOUR CHILD

Psymplicity Healthcare is a specialist provider of bespoke Obsessive Compulsive Disorder treatment plans for children and teenagers. Our psychiatrists provide indepth assessment and diagnosis services, working closely with you, your child, their school and any specialists to gather relevant information, assess their condition and recommend a way forward. You can attend the initial assessment in the way that is most comfortable for you and your child, either in person at our Harley Street psychiatry clinic, or online via video consultation. We are currently offering an 85 minute online assessment for £595 - so you can see if our approach works for you.

What is OCD in children?

Children often struggle to communicate their feelings and it can be difficult for you as a parent to recognise if they are suffering from mental health issues. If you do find your child’s behaviors and actions to be confusing or are worried about how to handle their actions, our team of mental health professionals have years of experience in diagnosing and providing the right treatment for your child.

One of the most common mental health issues in children and teenagers is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), a type of treatable anxiety disorder that affects children as young as six. Children and teenagers with OCD have repetitive intrusive thoughts that something is wrong, things around them are dirty or that someone could hurt them. These thoughts can cause them to develop certain compulsive behaviors and obsessive actions, which can lead disruptions in their daily activities, academic performance, social life and your family life. With the right diagnosis and care, your child can regain control over their symptoms and lead a happy, fulfilling life.

What are the symptoms of OCD in children and teenagers?

Children with OCD suffer from obsessions, which are persistently appearing fears and thoughts that can be very upsetting. These obsessions cause high levels of stress and anxiety, and can lead to the triggering of compulsions in response to the anxiety.

Obsessions can manifest in persistent worry about:

  • Contamination from dirty things and germs
  • Getting sick
  • Performing perfectly when undertaking school activities and hobbies
  • Their own safety, as well as their family’s
  • Strict adherence to rules - children with OCD often get extremely upset if rules are broken or when their perception of ‘normal’ is hindered
  • Disturbing thoughts or images

Compulsions can manifest in repetitive actions, such as:

  • Excessive cleaning and arranging
  • Balancing things until they are perfect due to an extreme need for symmetry
  • Asking repetitive questions about the same issues, especially when it comes to safety
  • Need for frequent reassurance
  • Apologising excessively for the smallest of issues or mistakes
  • Clinging to superstitions
  • Repeatedly checking and counting things

Children tend to exhibit pronounced patterns or symptoms in different environments such as school and home.

OCD symptoms in children at school:

  • Avoiding playing with other children or touching any of the playground items due to fear of contamination
  • Constantly arranging their things until they are in perfect order, even if it means they repeatedly get up from their assigned seat to complete these arrangements
  • Displaying high levels of anxiety about being organised, such as keeping their desks or stationary in perfect order
  • Stressing if their work is not perfect, for instance scribbling over or purposely messing up their work if they are not satisfied with their handwriting
  • Repeatedly requesting to go to the bathroom
  • Constantly seeking reassurance from teaching staff, for instance, asking repetitively if their answer is correct
  • Getting extremely upset when they need to shift between subjects suddenly
  • Counting rituals, such as counting the number of pens in their bag five times before class
  • Lack of attention in class because they are focused on their compulsive actions

What causes OCD in children and teenagers?

Scientists and doctors have been researching the cause of OCD for years, and although they have not been able to specifically identify the exact cause, it is believed that the following factors can play a part in developing OCD in children:

  • Genetics: Children are more likely to develop OCD if a family member has OCD or suffers from other associated anxiety disorders
  • Chemical imbalance in the brain: Serotonin is the chemical in the brain that sends messages between brain cells, and plays a role in regulating various activities such as anxiety, memory, sleep. Children with OCD have been observed to have low levels of Serotonin.
  • Life events: Children who have undergone bullying or incidents that trigger shame such as an inability to understand a subject at school, can develop OCD as they grow older.

Which disorders coexist with OCD?

For some children and teenagers, OCD tends to be associated with other disorders. Some of the most common disorders that are diagnosed in children and teenagers suffering from OCD are depression, eating disorders, anxiety and panic disorders.

What kind of treatment is effective for children with OCD?

Mild cases of OCD in children can be treated with cognitive behavior therapy or medication. However, if the symptoms intensify or impairment caused by the condition becomes more severe, a treatment that combines Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and medication can prove to be effective.

A specialised form of CBT, called Exposure and Response Prevention Theory (ERP), is a form of psychotherapy that has proven most effective in treating OCD in children and teenagers. Research shows that more than 80% of the patients who have undergone ERP therapy experience a significant reduction in OCD symptoms. ERP places the children in situations that expose them to their obsessions and simultaneously prevents them from performing the compulsions that they typically resort to manage their anxiety. Although ERP triggers anxiety, it is always performed in a controlled environment, and the child is exposed to their stimulants gradually, with an intention to overcome the anxiety.

Our team of specialists have years of experience dealing with children and teenagers suffering from OCD, and will create a bespoke treatment plan that is best suited to your child’s needs.

MEET OUR SPECIALISTS

Our close-knit team of psychiatrists, psychologists and psychotherapists are highly experienced in the diagnosis and treatment of adult ADD and ADHD. We provide clients with a bespoke and completely confidential service.

Dr Monica Quadir

Dr Quadir is a Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist who works within the NHS and the private sector. Having gained her Medical degree from Bart’s and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry in 2009, she has gone on to complete her Specialty Training in Child And Adolescent Psychiatry. Dr Quadir works with young people from the ages of 4 to 17, and has experience working with a wide range of disorders including Depression, Anxiety and Neurodevelopmental disorders such as ADHD and Autism.

Dr Fareeha Amber Sadiq

Dr Amber is a Consultant Child, Adolescent and Family Psychiatrist. She uses a compassionate and integrated approach which combines biological, psychological and social perspectives with evidence based care. She works closely with her multidisciplinary colleagues and liaises with other professionals, including school counsellors and paediatricians, whenever possible.

Dr Karen McCarty

Dr Karen McCarty completed her BSc in Psychology, including an additional research year with the Institute of Child Health and Great Ormond Street Hospital. She worked as an Assistant Psychologist in West London for one year before attaining a place on the DClin Psy training programme at the University of Hertfordshire in 2003.

Other Psychiatric Conditions Treated by Psymplicity

Our psychiatric team are specialised in the diagnosis and treatment of the following conditions and many others. Each patient is treated on a case-by-case basis, meaning that your treatment plan is unique to you. We have two clinics across London and appointments available, so contact us today and book yours now.

BIPOLAR DEPRESSION

Contrary to popular belief, there is not a single form of bipolar depression that accounts for every case. We identify your individual type and create a tailored and efficient treatment plan.

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DEPRESSION

We specialise in the treatment of all forms of depression and are proud to offer an essential lifeline for those looking to regain control of their lives.

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PSYCHOSIS

Psychosis causes people to interpret things differently to those around them. The 2 main symptoms are hallucinations and delusions. Through psychiatry, we can help you overcome these.

PANIC AND ANXIETY

Anxiety can be crippling to your everyday life. Speak to a Psymplicity Healthcare psychiatrist to see how we can help ease your symptoms through counselling and treatment.

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LOOKING FOR ANOTHER SERVICE?

Contact our team now to see how we can help.

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OCD

We provide a comprehensive and holistic service to help treat your OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). Through cognitive behaviour therapy and medication, you’ll slowly begin to overcome your compulsive behaviours.

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PTSD

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (or PTSD for short) occurs after exposure to a terrifying event or ordeal and often goes undiagnosed. Our trained therapists are on hand to help resolve your trauma.

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SCHIZOPHRENIA

Schizophrenia is a type of psychosis that stops sufferers from distinguishing their thoughts from reality. With your own unique treatment plan, we’re able to help you limit the symptoms you experience.

CONTACT US

Book an 85 minute online assessment for £595.

If you would like to speak with our medical secretaries, please call us now or request a call back through our contact form.

0207 118 0407

FAQS: OCD IN CHILDREN AND TEENAGERS

Q: Can childhood OCD go away?

While some children manage to overcome OCD completely with suitable treatment, others may not be fully cured, but do learn to overcome and enjoy significant relief from its symptoms. With the right treatment and care, your child can learn to free themselves of the limitations caused by their condition, and enjoy a happy, healthy life.

Q: Can parents cause OCD?

While it is possible for biological parents to pass OCD on to their children through their genes, parenting styles do not appear to have an impact on childhood OCD. Being strict or rigid with your child does not result in them developing symptoms of OCD.

Q: How can I help my child with OCD at home?

If your child is suffering from OCD, you can seek professional help to support them in dealing with their condition. You can also help them at home in the following ways:

  • Supporting your child - not criticizing or punishing them for their actions, but rather being understanding and encouraging them to talk about their problems
  • Helping them manage their anxiety - either by talking to them, through mental exercises such as meditation or by establishing a special ‘safe environment’

Q: How can I help my child with OCD at school?

Children suffering from OCD often find it difficult to function well at school. But they can be helped and supported by creating a caring environment by following these methods:

  • Give them a seating arrangement that they are comfortable with, be it a place in the back row where they don't have to be conscious of other kids watching their compulsive actions, or right in front where they can focus better without distractions
  • Break down schoolwork into easily digestible loads
  • Additional time for children with OCD to turn in their assignments or even test papers

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