What is Obsessive-compulsion disorder (OCD)?

Research by Family Graffiti | Published on 19th March 2018

OCD is an anxiety disorder


It has two distinct features:

• Obsessions which are Cognitive malfunctions including unwelcome thoughts, images, urges, worries or doubts.

• Compulsions are repetitive activities that a child will do to reduce the anxiety caused by the obsession. Probably therapeutic for them.


Compulsions often operate as comfort zones, offering a safety outlet which help the child to function calmly. Playing with toys in a familiar way, organizing clothing or toys or even food on their plate, into recognized patterns. If these patterns of organization are conforming and categorizing thoughts and anxieties for the child, then they can be said as being a benefit, an outlet, a form of relief of strongly suppressed emotions, escapism.

Providing these compulsions are not becoming a life fixed habit or they are not overwhelming the everyday routines of the child, then these patterns of play etc, are not dangerous to their health or to their mind. Avoid challenging or trying to persuade a change of these routines. If these are their own anxiety coping mechanisms, and if you challenge this behaviour you will be met by defiance and upset.

Also remember that you should attach no stigma to their compulsions. To the child their fears and anxieties are real. Do not undermine their reactions (in this case their safety zones) simply work gently with their underlying cognitive understanding of their anxieties.

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