Common Obsessions — Symptoms of Pediatric OCD
Obsessions — or recurrent, unwanted thoughts — are characteristics of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).
Below are common obsessions found in children and adolescents with OCD.
- Excessive worry about:
- Dirt, germs, bodily fluids, or illnesses.
- Taking on personality traits of others.
- Animals or insects causing illness.
- Household cleaners, solvents, or environmental wastes leading to sickness or injury.
Fear of “Bad Things” Happening, Aggressive Thoughts
- Excessive worry about:
- Not being able to control impulses.
- Harming someone whom he or she cares about.
- Environmental disasters.
- Excessive doubt about whether or not something in his or her possession was stolen.
- Violent images of harm coming to self or others.
Need for Symmetry, Precision (“Just Right” OCD)
- Intolerance of items out of place.
- Intolerance of the way clothing feels or the textures of food.
- Overwhelming feeling that something is incomplete and must be fixed or finished.
- Extreme discomfort when something feels out of balance or uneven.
- Difficulty making transitions.
Urge to Tell, Confess, Ask, Know With Certainty
- Need to confess every detail about his or her day.
- Uncertainty about understanding directions. Need to know exactly what to do at each step.
- Intolerance for responses that are vague, or when given an answer such as “I don't know,” “maybe,” or “possibly.”
- Overwhelming need to acquire objects, even if he or she has the item already.
- Need to carry items around in pockets and collect things of no value (e.g., lint, pieces of paper from the floor).
Moral Dilemma and Religious Preoccupations (Scrupulosity)
- Extreme fear of telling a lie or having an “impure” thought.
- Excessive concern about behaviors or statements being right or wrong, or morally acceptable or offensive.
- Excessive worry about offending religious figures or objects associated with his or her religion.
- Rigid preoccupation with rules.
- Distressing images or thoughts associated with what happens after death.
- Preoccupation with making the “right” decision.
Sexual and “Forbidden” Thoughts
- Images or thoughts that he or she has sexually assaulted a stranger or behaved in a sexually inappropriate way toward a loved one.
- Uncharacteristic and unpleasant thoughts about sexual orientation.
- Associating certain numbers, colors, words, or personal behaviors with the unrelated actions of others or the outcomes of events.
Make an Appointment With the Pediatric OCD Program
To a schedule an evaluation of your child's symptoms to see if they meet the criteria for an OCD diagnosis, or to discuss OCD treatment options, call 412-235-5354.