Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Resource Center

Last updated June 2023


Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is seen in as many as 1-3% of children and adolescents.

OCD is characterized by recurrent intense obsessions and/or compulsions that cause severe distress and interfere with day-to-day functioning.

Obsessions are repetitive and persistent thoughts, impulses, or images that are unwanted and cause marked anxiety or distress.

Frequently, they are unrealistic or irrational. They are not simply excessive worries about real-life problems or preoccupations.

Compulsions are repetitive behaviors or rituals (like hand washing, keeping things in order, checking something over and over) or mental acts (like counting or repeating words silently).

In OCD, the obsessions or compulsions cause significant anxiety or distress, or they interfere with the child's normal routine, academic functioning, social activities, or relationships.

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Video Clips

Introducing Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
A short cartoon video explaining OCD for older kids, teens, and their families from the perspective of a young girl with OCD

Ask the Expert: CBT for OCD
A 1-minute explanation of treatments for OCD for patients and their families, by Columbia University Medical Center OCD expert, Dr. Blair Simpson

Treatment for Children with OCD
A 3-minute summary of one teenager’s experience with OCD and the treatment he received

OCD Strategies with Dr. Rynn of Columbia University on the Conquer Worry Radio Show, Oct. 19, 2014
A 45-minute audio recording for the public on the basics of anxiety and OCD in children and adolescents

Keynote for the FIU Center for Children and Families
A 75-minute presentation by John Piacentini, PhD, on the basics of OCD for professionals and families who want to have a more advanced understanding of the disorder

Dr. Eli Lebowitz of the Yale Child Study Center explains how to create effective exposures for professionals who treat OCD in a 15-minute video

Dr. Michael Jeneke provides brief explanation of PANS/PANDAS for physicians

A 20-minute video briefly describing PANS/PANDAS for professionals

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