OCD in children

Posted on: Fri, 01/13/2006 - 12:29am
julieneaman's picture
Joined: 01/11/2004 - 09:00


Just wanted you all to know that Annaliese is finally really improving. She has been seeing a psychiatrist at NIH and a Therapist that we really like at ASDI. She went to school by herself and stayed all day the past 2 weeks! Her docs think she will get a whole lot better still and will be in remission by the middle of summer. Thanks for all the support!


I am at a loss and wondering if anyone has any experience w/ this. My 8 yr old dd, nka, started experiencing OCD behaviors & thoughts Monday out of the blue. Getting worse throughout week to where she is unable to do anything other than respond to her irrational thoughts. She couldn't even stay in school yesterday b/c she kept asking her teacher over and over if she thought she was cheating, maybe she did cheat, are you sure I didn't cheat. She is also having "panic attacks?" w/ rapid heartbeat & shaking all over. She's seeing the ped later this am to rule out strep. Apparently strep can bring this on suddenly. She is truly in agony. Any suggestions? I mean I know we're seeing the ped and I assume we'll be going to a therapist, but beyond that. Book recommendations, strategies or help, anyone?



[This message has been edited by julieneaman (edited April 27, 2006).]

Posted on: Fri, 01/13/2006 - 1:34am
TNAmom's picture
Joined: 11/29/2005 - 09:00

Good thing to first rule out strep. Very sudden onset of OCD behaviors is indicative of the infection. This is known as Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Group A Streptococcal Infection, aka PANDAS. Try looking for info on the web.
Has she had a cold/flu recently? The good news is antibiotic therapy will help alleviate most of the symptoms. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can be used to tackle remaining problems.
I highly recommend the author Tamar Chansky. She has several books about OCD and anxiety in children. I have found them very helpful in dealing with my nine year old daughter's problems.
Good luck to you. I know how frightening it is when the symptoms are at their peak, but it will get better. Tell your daughter she will be okay. The professionals can help her get a handle on this.

Posted on: Fri, 01/13/2006 - 2:12am
Momcat's picture
Joined: 03/15/2005 - 09:00

When he was a child, my brother had a "phase" of OCD type symptoms. He couldn't stop washing his hands, had severe anxiety, etc. It turned out to be a side effect of his asthma medication. He was miserable, though... I still remember it.
Mom to 6 1/2 yr old PA/TNA daughter and 3 yr old son who is allergic to eggs.

Posted on: Fri, 01/13/2006 - 2:49am
MommaBear's picture
Joined: 09/23/2002 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by TNAmom:
[b]Good thing to first rule out strep. Very sudden onset of OCD behaviors is indicative of the infection. This is known as Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Group A Streptococcal Infection, aka PANDAS. Try looking for info on the web.[/b]
I did. I ended up with a hit for a website with tourettenowwhat in the hyperlink on google. When *I* googled tourettenowwhat and PANDAS I got an interesting page I gobbled right up. I mean, being no stranger to "Tourettes". [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] Not saying the is what the Original Poster is describing, just a portion of what showed up in my search on "PANDAS" and "strep". KWIM?
Love the disclaimer on the site......still reading.
Quote:[b]Has she had a cold/flu recently?
practically everyone *I* know has. But maybe that's just me.
General Disclaimer: I am not offering advice in any manner or form. I do not guarantee the accuracy, currentness, or content of the link in this post.

Posted on: Fri, 01/13/2006 - 4:20am
julieneaman's picture
Joined: 01/11/2004 - 09:00

Turns out dd has a raging case of strep! Cause for much celebration in the dr office. I realize there could be left over symptoms after antibiotic, but I'm really hopeful.
Thanks so much for your replies. All very helpful. Yes, I'm tearing up the internet now that I have a minute. And, I am going to get a book or two. We got Clop,Clop, blink blink Why do we do things we Can't Stop yesterday. DD liked it. It made her realize that other people have gone through what she's experiencing. Very frightening. Thanks Again!

Posted on: Fri, 01/13/2006 - 4:32am
TNAmom's picture
Joined: 11/29/2005 - 09:00

That's good news. It may take a few weeks, but you will get relief with antibiotic therapy.
Meanwhile, keep reassuring her that it'll get better, and do what you can to keep her triggers down while she is so high-stress. It's a struggle, but she'll pull out of it.
Good luck!

Posted on: Fri, 01/13/2006 - 6:58am
julieneaman's picture
Joined: 01/11/2004 - 09:00

Thanks TNA,
I'm not sure what you mean "keep her triggers down".
She can't even carry on a coherent conversation right now because she is doubting herself so much. Did I really say that? Did it sound mean? Was my tone too sassy? She can't even really tell me if her throat hurts. She'll say, "yes it hurts, well maybe not so much, I think it itches, but doesn't really hurt I think I'm fine now and on and on.
I do feel relieved that we got to the cause, but it is very hard to see a beautiful, sensitive, bright, articulate girl be reduced to this non-functioning shell.
Thanks for your info and encouragement.

Posted on: Fri, 01/13/2006 - 7:25am
TNAmom's picture
Joined: 11/29/2005 - 09:00

Hi Julie.
I apologize. That may not have been a terribly helpful comment. I just meant whatever seems to set her off, try to minimize. Take all possible stress away from her.
But of course it is her own brain setting things off, not external things, and God knows there is no rhyme or reason to it. Her brain is on a rapid skip pattern right now. She seems to be plagued with the "bad thoughts" form of OCD. I have not personally had to deal with that one with in my child. She's more of the contamination phobia, health-obsessed (and allergy obsessed) type.
I feel for you entirely however, because I know how horrific it is to see a beautiful fun-loving little girl change into a terrified ghost. It is an awful, awful experience.
Lots of hugs, lots of reassurance, and as little pressure as possible. She may have to be pulled from school for a while until she is stronger. Difficult, I know, if you work outside the home.
What is the course of action? Have you been lined up with a therapist yet? Any talk of SSRI medications to accompany the antibiotics?

Posted on: Fri, 01/13/2006 - 8:12am
Gail W's picture
Joined: 12/06/2001 - 09:00

TNAmom, I'm amazed that you zeroed in on this so quickly. I had never heard of PANDAS, and learned a lot. Thank you.
julieneaman, I just wanted to say that I hope things improve for your daughter. This sounds terrifying, I can't imagine. You are a strong mother for dealing with this so lovingly.

Posted on: Fri, 01/13/2006 - 9:17am
MommaBear's picture
Joined: 09/23/2002 - 09:00

General Disclaimer: I am not offering advice in any manner or form. I do not guarantee the accuracy, currentness, or content of the link in this post.

Posted on: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 1:28am
julieneaman's picture
Joined: 01/11/2004 - 09:00

Thanks for all the info everyone. TNAmom, Please don't apologize. You've really been so helpful. I really appreciate it!
Well, she's had 3 doses of anitbiotic. She slept last night. I'm feeling a little optimistic b/c she was able to eat this am and even practiced her viola for about 5 minutes. She is still having thoughts, but it doesn't seem quite so bad today. Her thoughts are all self-doubt re being disrespectful, lying, cheating, sinning.
Her treatment plan is to see how much the antibiotics help before beginning therapy or other drugs. Her dr. and I are really hoping for the best here. If the ocd persists, I will certainly consider any and all therapies.
TNAMom, I'm sorry you are dealing w/ this, too. It sounds like you really have a good handle on how to manage, though.
MommaBear, thanks for the link. I caught it last night. There are some pretty scary therapies being suggested, but like I said I'd consider anything that might help if need be.
Thanks so much again for listening and the help. You guys are great!
BTW, I didn't realize I posted this in schools. I meant to post it in Off Topic. If anyone knows how to move it, feel free.


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