OCD Symptoms in Teens: How to Recognize and Get Treatment

OCD Symptoms in Teens: How to Recognize and Get Treatment

If you are the parent of a teenager, there is a good chance that you have heard them mention OCD at some point. OCD stands for obsessive-compulsive disorder, and it is estimated that 1 in 100 teenagers suffer from it. If your child is one of those teenagers, it is important to know how to recognize the symptoms and help them deal with them. In this blog post, we will discuss the OCD symptoms in teens, as well as some ways to deal with it.

What Are The OCD Symptoms In Teens?

What Are The OCD Symptoms In Teens?OCD is a type of anxiety disorder that is characterized by obsessions and compulsions. People with OCD tend to have persistent, unwanted thoughts (obsessions) that lead them to perform repetitive behaviors (compulsions). These behaviors are often aimed at reducing the anxiety caused by the obsessions.

According to studies, the prevalence of OCD in teens is about percent. This means that, for every 100 teenagers, about two to three will have OCD. The condition usually begins during childhood or adolescence, with onset typically occurring around age ten. However, some people do not develop symptoms until adulthood.

However, it is important to identify the symptoms because OCD can significantly interfere with the quality of life. It can cause academic problems, social isolation, and strained relationships. If left untreated, it can lead to depression, anxiety, and substance abuse. Here are some of the most common OCD symptoms in teenagers:

Excessive handwashing or showering

This is often the first symptom that parents notice. The teen may spend hours in the shower or wash their hands excessively to the point of raw skin. Actually, it is a type of OCD when the washing is done to reduce anxiety or to prevent something bad from happening. It also refers to the contamination and cleaning concerns. And, it includes fears of getting dirty or becoming sick.

Teens with OCD may also have a fear of germs and bacteria. As a result, they may avoid places where they think they could be exposed to germs, such as public restrooms. In severe cases, teens with OCD may become housebound. That means they are too afraid to leave their homes.

Checking things

Another common symptom is checking things. For example, the teenager may check the locks on doors several times or make sure that the stove is turned off multiple times. It often stems from a fear of harm or danger. Teens with OCD may also repeatedly check schoolwork or their appearance before leaving the house. This can lead to academic problems and social isolation.

Moreover, some teens with OCD may have difficulty throwing things away. This is because they may think that they need the item or that something bad will happen if they get rid of it. As a result, their homes may become cluttered with piles of clothes, books, and other belongings.


Hoarding is another OCD symptom in teens, which is different from collecting. It’s characterized by an intense fear of losing something that may be useful in the future. As a result, teens with OCD may hoard items such as clothes, school supplies, and food. This can lead to significant problems because it can make the house cluttered.

Consequently, it may cause conflict with family members and make it difficult to keep the house clean. However, the symptom goes beyond collecting things. It’s also about the emotional attachment to the items and the fear of losing them.


AvoidanceAmong OCD symptoms in teens, avoidance is one of the most common. Teens with OCD may avoid places, people, or activities that trigger their anxiety. They often do this without realizing it, as a way to cope with their fear and anxiety. For example, a teen with OCD may avoid going to the mall because they’re afraid of getting germs from other people. Or, a teen with OCD may avoid doing homework because they’re afraid of making mistakes.

Avoidance can be a difficult symptom to deal with because it can interfere with daily activities. However, there are some things you can do to help your teen cope with their OCD.

Aggressive or violent thoughts

This is very distressing for both teenager and their parents. The teen may have intrusive thoughts about harming themselves or others. In some cases, these thoughts can lead to self-injury or suicide attempts. In fact, research has shown that OCD is one of the most common mental disorders in people who attempt or die by suicide.

If your teen is exhibiting any signs of self-harm or suicidal thoughts. It is actually important to get help on an immediate basis. So, violent thoughts in OCD should not be ignored.

Seeking reassurance

Reassurance is one of the most common obsessions in people with OCD. It can manifest itself in many different ways but usually revolves around fear or worry that something bad will happen. For example, a person with OCD may be afraid of getting sick, so they may constantly check their temperature or ask others if they are feeling okay. In seeking assurance, a teen with OCD may also ask a lot of questions, seek out multiple opinions, or look for patterns and order.

They often do this to try to gain control over their fears and worries. However, seeking reassurance can actually make OCD symptoms worse. This is because it reinforces the idea that something bad could happen, which then increases anxiety and fear.

Obsessions with symmetry or exactness

Some teens become obsessed with things being symmetrical or in a certain order. For example, they may line up their shoes perfectly or arrange their books by color. It mainly focuses on perfectionism and control.

This can be a problem when it starts to interfere with everyday activities or takes up a lot of time. As obsessions with symmetry or exactness become more severe, they can also lead to avoidance behaviors. For example, a teen may start avoiding certain activities or places because they are afraid they will not be able to do them perfectly.

As you can see, there are many different types of OCD symptoms in teenagers. If you think your teen may have OCD, it is important to talk to a mental health professional who can provide an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.

Consequences If OCD Symptoms In Teens Get Unidentified

Consequences If OCD Symptoms In Teens Get Unidentified

There are possible consequences if OCD symptoms in teens go unidentified. Also, if left untreated, OCD can worsen to the point where it significantly interferes with a person’s ability to function at work, school, or home. In some cases, it can even lead to suicidal thoughts or behaviors.

Some of the consequences that might result from untreated OCD in teens include:

  • Isolation and withdrawal from friends and activities that were once enjoyed
  • Poor performance in school
  • Problems with drug or alcohol abuse
  • Eating disorders or other mental health disorders
  • Problems in relationships
  • Self-injury or suicidal thoughts or behaviors

Parents often feel guilty when they realize their child has OCD. However, it’s important to remember that OCD is a real medical condition that requires treatment. There are many resources available to help parents and teens deal with OCD. With the right treatment, most people with OCD can lead happy and productive lives.

It is more important to find the right treatment rather than blaming yourself or your child. The most important thing is to get help as soon as possible. If you think your teen may have OCD, talk to a mental health professional about your concerns. Early treatment can make a big difference in the course of the disorder.

What To Do After Identifying OCD Symptoms In Teens?

This is a difficult question with no easy answer. However, there is a process and treatment that can help your teen manage their OCD.

  • The first step is to find a mental health professional who specializes in treating OCD.
  • This may be a therapist, counselor, psychologist, or psychiatrist.
  • You can ask your regular doctor for a referral, or look for someone who specializes in OCD or anxiety disorders.
  • Once you’ve found someone who you think may be a good fit, schedule an appointment and have an initial consultation.
  • During this meeting, the professional will likely ask about your teen’s symptoms, thoughts, and behaviors surrounding their obsessions and compulsions.
  • They will also inquire about any other mental or physical health concerns.
  • After this meeting, the professional will likely provide you with a proposed treatment plan.
  • This may include medication, therapy, or a combination of both.

It’s important to find a treatment plan that works for your teen and that they are comfortable with. Although the treatment for OCD can be difficult and frustrating. But it is possible to find relief from symptoms. Moreover, with the right treatment, your teen can learn to manage their OCD and live a happy and healthy life.

Treatment For OCD In Teens

Treatment For OCD In TeensThere is no one-size-fits-all treatment for OCD in teens, but there are many options that can be effective. Here are some of the treatment options to go for after recognizing the OCD symptoms in teens.

  • ERP is the most common and effective treatment for OCD. It involves gradually exposing the teen to the things they are afraid of and helping them learn to cope with the anxiety.
  • CBT is another option that can be helpful for teens with OCD. CBT helps teens learn how to change their thinking patterns and behaviors.
  • Medication can also be used to treat OCD in teens. SSRIs are the most commonly prescribed type of medication for OCD.
  • Self-help is a must for treating OCD in teens. There are many helpful resources available, such as books, websites, and support groups.

For therapies, you must try Mantra Care. It is a platform where you can find specialized therapists in OCD. Mantra Care offers specialized treatments that can be availed by mobile apps, online sessions, and helpful articles. You must try it to get rid of OCD symptoms in teens! Visit the website now and book your free consultation to get information.

OCD can be a difficult condition to deal with, but there are many effective treatment options available. If you suspect your teen may have OCD, talk to their doctor about what options may be best for them. Moreover, Mantra Care can be really helpful for you. Try it now!


To conclude, OCD symptoms in teens can be very different from those in adults. It is important to be aware of the symptoms and to seek professional help if you think your teen may be suffering from OCD. The condition can be really distressing and causes a lot of anxiety and stress. Therefore, it is important to get help and support as soon as possible. With the right treatment, most people with OCD can improve a lot.

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