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Updated : August 1, 2022 2 mins read

OCD | Support for professionals

Updated : August 1, 2022 2 mins read

Article OCD

OCD is a mental health condition that affects around 1 in every 1,000 people. The anxiety disorder can affect anyone at any age, although onset is most common in early adulthood.

Signs a young person might have OCD

Depending on how much contact you have with the young person, it might be hard to spot the signs of OCD. However there are some signs that you might pick up on:

  • Showing excessive concern about symmetry or tidiness
  • Becoming anxious about school work or tasks they’re working on. They might check and recheck it over and over again
  • Repeating words, numbers or phrases under their breath
  • Concern over keeping things in a specific order
  • Becoming excessively concerned about germs
  • Needing to wash their hands excessively
  • Carrying out repetitive behaviours such as locking and unlocking doors, switching lights on and off or having to touch things in a certain way

Supporting a young person with OCD

If you are worried about a young person, depending on their age, you may want to speak to them or their parents.

Many young people feel guilt or shame about their obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviour. When you talk to a young person:

  • Be patient and give them time to speak about their thoughts
  • Don’t judge them
  • Learn more about OCD and how you can support them

Things that you can do to support a young person with OCD:

  • If it is safe and appropriate, give them time to carry out their rituals. Especially if it helps to reduce their anxiety
  • Don’t restrict or force them to rush into something that they are worried about
  • Give them reassurance
  • Speak to them about what support you can give them

Get Help now

If you are concerned about your mental health, or if you have found yourself feeling concerned about someone else, you can:

Call 111 – NHS 24

Call 116 123 – The Samaritans

Call 0800 83 85 87 – Breathing Space

Text: ‘YM’ to 85258 – Young Minds crisis chat

If you think you are in danger of hurting yourself or other people, you should call 999 or present to your local A&E department.