Julie Derrick regularly shares blogs on child OCD and anxiety with the aim of helping parents and teachers identify early signs of obsessive-compulsive disorder,
so that they can help children cope better with OCD.
...and Clinical Director Sian Carroll, Clinical Nurse Specialist of Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a common condition that, by various estimates, affects 2-3% of the population. After long being regarded as rare in childhood recent evidence has shown this not to be the case, with up to half of those developing the condition in adulthood experiencing an onset of their symptoms in childhood. Isolated OCD symptoms are also now known to be very prevalent in children, with up to a quarter experiencing them at some point in their lives.
Longitudinal studies into the evolution of the disorder have also identified a pattern of subclinical OCD symptoms, typically starting in middle childhood, in those who go on to develop the illness later in life. However, the fact it frequently co-presents with a multitude of childhood anxieties coupled with the recognition among sufferers of the irrationality of obsessive thinking, can result in those affected enduring their symptoms in secret without access to early and effective intervention.
Drawing on her considerable experience of dealing with the condition and the insights she has gained through her own personal journey, Mrs Derrick has produced an excellent illustrated resource, replete with vignettes and practical tips, for families of children who may be experiencing the precursors or the early stages of an Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. It does a very good job of presenting the condition from the child’s perspective, covers the basic principles of treatment, including ‘externalising’ symptoms as a means of increasing motivation as well as exposure and response prevention techniques, in a manner that makes sense to children and families.
We commend Mrs Derrick for her efforts and wish her every success in her mission to increase awareness and reduce stigma around mental health difficulties in children and young people.