Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) can last for years. It affects all ages and walks of life, and is cyclical in nature. For self-aware teenagers, it may be especially distressing or damaging. This disorder is distracting — it consumes a lot of time and may get in the way of other important aspects of a teenager’s life.

It cannot be cured, but treatment may help a teenager cope with OCD. To learn more about our treatment options, contact Visions Adolescent Treatment Centers at 866-889-3665.

Learn about Obsessive Compulsive & Related Disorders

OCD is a mental health disorder where an individual becomes caught in a cycle of obsessions and compulsions. Obsessions are unwanted or intrusive thoughts that produce an intensely distressing feeling. Compulsions are behaviors that cannot be controlled — in this case, many compulsions are to rid oneself of an obsession. In some cases, the cycle of obsessions and compulsions may be extreme enough to get in the way of daily life.

One of the roadblocks to accessing effective OCD treatment is that affected individuals may have related disorders as well. While some disorders may overlap in symptoms, a correct diagnosis is incredibly important to defining the right treatment program for OCD. Related conditions may include Tourette’s syndrome, trichotillomania, anxiety disorders, or eating disorders.

Signs & Symptoms of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Common obsessions include:

  • Aversion to contamination
  • Perfectionism
  • Hoarding
  • Sexual thoughts
  • Theft
  • Self-harm or harm to others

Common compulsions include:

  • Washing and cleaning
  • Mental review of events to avoid harm
  • Checking and re-checking things to avoid mistakes
  • Repetition in phrases, actions, or writing until they reach a “safe” number
  • Rearranging things until they “feel right”

Treating Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

It’s difficult to manage OCD on your own, especially for teenagers who need to juggle school, friends, and applying to colleges. Treatments for OCD vary, but most will involve exposure and response prevention (ERP) therapy. While it will not cure OCD, it can make obsessions and compulsions easier to mana