OCD Chicago

Your Child Can Get Better With Effective Treatment
Information for Parents

What Doesn’t Cause OCD in Children

Children who have OCD didn’t do something to cause it.  And their parents didn’t do anything to cause it either.  OCD is a neurobiological disorder, not a condition that is caused by an action or inaction.  Even the worst parenting in the world doesn’t cause OCD.

Common misperceptions about the cause of OCD include:

  • STRESS.  Stress doesn’t cause OCD, although sometimes symptoms begin after a severe trauma, such as the death of a loved one.  Other stress triggers include birth of a sibling, marriage, divorce, a move to a new home or community, transition of a child to a new school or new school year, or even a natural disaster such as an earthquake or hurricane.  And, if OCD symptoms are already present, stress can cause those symptoms to increase.
  • ILLNESS.  Childhood illnesses do not cause OCD, although some studies suggest that a strep infection may trigger the sudden onset of symptoms in children who are genetically predisposed to OCD.
  • PARENTING.  No evidence exists that would link OCD with the way parents guide or discipline their children.  Parents should not be blamed when a child exhibits symptoms of this disorder.  However, parents of children with OCD need to develop special skills to help their children overcome and manage OCD.

OCD Chicago’s guide, How to Help Your Child, is a good source of advice.

Order or download a copy of How to Help Your Child

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