OCD Chicago

Your Child Can Get Better With Effective Treatment
Information for Parents

Who Is Affected by OCD?

OCD doesn’t discriminate.  It affects children and adults of all races, genders and ethnicities, from every socioeconomic level, in all parts of the U.S. and the world.

Some people wonder how OCD could grow from a little-known condition just a few decades ago to one of such widespread proportions today.  They ask if OCD is some new form of disorder brought about by the way our society is changing, or if parents are doing something differently today that has caused a spike in the prevalence of this disorder.

Is OCD a New Disorder?

OCD is not new, but today much more is known about this neurobiological anxiety disorder than ever before.

There were no consumer books written about OCD until the late 1980s and medical research hadn’t even begun just a few decades ago.  Information was not readily available via the Internet until relatively recently.

Given all this, few tools were available in the past to help doctors understand OCD—or to help struggling parents make sense of a child’s unusual behavior and help them treat that behavior.  Many families never asked their family physician for help, and those who did were often disappointed because family doctors did not have information about any disease that matched the symptoms their child was exhibiting.  In many parts of the country, parents did not have access to mental health professionals. And the stigma of having a child with a mental illness caused many families to hide the truth for fear of gossip, discrimination and shame.

So experts now believe that while OCD was present in children (and adults) in the past,  the number of OCD cases was very much underreported, giving the impression that OCD is a “new” disorder today, or that there is an “outbreak” of OCD.

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