The COVID-19 pandemic has awakened in some children a diagnosis for “Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)”. Children diagnosed with OCD has risen in response to the warnings being described on national and local news, school systems, and the constant reminders from family and friends to take precautions to prevent COVID-19 by washing one’s hands excessively. “Obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) is a chronic disorder characterized by recurrent obsessions and compulsions which affects about 0.5%–3% of children and adolescents (American Psychiatric Association, 2013; Heyman et al., 2003). The most common OCD symptoms are an obsession with contamination and the compulsion to clean (Bloch et al., 2008; Stein et al., 2019)” (Tanir, Karayagmurlu, Kaya, I. et. al.,2020 November. p. 1-2). “Obsessive fear of germs or dirt and the compulsion to wash the hands over and over is one of the most common manifestations of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). For people who suffer from OCD, hand washing goes well beyond a concern with cleanliness. It is extreme behavior whose real purpose is to lessen intense feelings of fear and anxiety.” (Rosenberg, 2022, p.2).
Compulsions are defined by (1) and (2):
1. Repetitive behaviors (e.g., hand washing, ordering, checking) or mental acts (e.g., praying, counting, repeating words silently) that the individual feels driven to perform in response to an obsession or according to rules that must be applied rigidly. 2.The behaviors or mental acts are aimed at preventing or reducing anxiety or distress, or preventing some dreaded event or situation; however, these behaviors or mental acts are not connected in a realistic way with what they are designed to neutralize or prevent or are clearly excessive. References Rosenberg, F. (2022) Excessive hand washing is a sign of OCD. Anxiety.org (p. 2). https://lnkd.in/eQ6Ycjjh. Tanir, Y., Karayagmurlu, A., Kaya, I. et. al. (2020 November) Exacerbation of obsessive compulsive disorder symptoms in children and adolescents during COVID-19 pandemic. Psychiatry Research 293. p. 1-2. https://lnkd.in/eqDwVhdP Special Education Training Center Email: [email protected]