Navigation Links
For OCD, Not Helping Might Be Best
Date:7/6/2009

Well-meaning assistance may do more harm than good, experts say,,

MONDAY, July 6 (HealthDay News) -- Instinctively easing a child's anxiety could be counterproductive if girl or boy suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorder, say University of Florida researchers.

Helping children with OCD complete the rituals associated with the condition -- such as reassuring compulsive washers that their hands are clean -- might ease the immediate situation, they say, but this actually might strengthen the child's desire to repeat the obsessive behavior later.

"Parents do that because that is what a parent whose child doesn't have OCD would do," the study's lead author, Lisa Merlo, an assistant professor of psychiatry, said in a university news release. "If your child is upset, you try to comfort them. But what we know is, for patients with OCD, if they get an accommodation, that reinforces the OCD to them."

"It's validating the OCD in the kid's mind," she said, and that's what you don't want to do."

The findings, published in the current issue of the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, are based on analysis of 49 children with OCD, aged 6 to 18. Researchers found that children with the most severe OCD conditions also had families that most accommodated the child's behavior.

"You would think if parents are helping, the kids would be less impaired," Merlo said. "But what we are seeing is that it snowballs and makes it worse and worse."

However, the researchers could not say for sure whether the family's "help" made the disorder worse or whether the excessive assistance was in response to the child's condition being severe from the onset.

After the analysis, the families participated in 14 sessions of cognitive-behavioral therapy, a treatment in which children handle their fears by facing them and using alternate methods to deal with them. The parents, meanwhile, were instructed in how they should respond when their child's OCD behaviors arose.

After the treatment, researchers noticed a significant decrease in how often families were assisting children during their OCD behaviors and rituals. Children whose families had the biggest decrease in these accommodations also had the biggest improvement in their OCD symptoms, Merlo said.

Jonathan Abramowitz, an associate professor and associate chairman of psychology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, noted that this unintentional reinforcement of OCD has also been reported anecdotally by adults in relationships.

"We see it with adults' spouses and partners, too," he said in the news release. "In trying to be helpful to the person with OCD, they end up making the problem worse."

The American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry estimates that roughly one in 200 U.S. children has obsessive-compulsive disorder, and the Obsessive Compulsive Foundation estimates that 1 in 50 adults has it.

More information

The Obsessive Compulsive Foundation has more about OCD.



-- Kevin McKeever



SOURCE: University of Florida Health Science Center, news release, June 2009


'/>"/>
Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. CareFusion Launches New Brand, Establishing Itself as an Industry Leader in Helping Hospitals Improve Patient Care and Safety
2. AUDIO from Medialink and AARP: Helping Older Americans Buy Groceries in a Snap
3. Look Good...Feel Better and OPI Celebrate 20 Years of Helping Women Cope With Cancer
4. Extra Helpings of Vegetables, Olive Oil May Extend Life
5. New Online Company Is Helping to Bring a Solution to the Increasingly Devastating Problem of Healthcare Costs in America, at No Cost to Consumers
6. Vaccinating children may be effective at helping control spread of influenza, experts say
7. JEWEL-OSCO(R) Hunger Relief Grant Program Helping to Fund Area Food Pantries & Soup Kitchens
8. Helping Dad Stay Independent: The Best Fathers Day Gift for an Aging Parent - A Checklist from Dr. Dan Tobin, Founder and CEO of Care Support of America
9. GECKO Founder to Race 135 Miles Across Death Valley in the Badwater Ultramarathon to Raise Funds and Awareness for New Nonprofit Dedicated to Helping Kids Get Outdoors
10. IntelliSoft Group Helping to Meet the Challenges of OPPE/FPPE in Medical Credentialing
11. Explorers Bounty Coffees and Chocolates Helping Individuals Reverse the Aging Process
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
For OCD, Not Helping Might Be Best 
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... issues and applications at AcademyHealth’s Annual Research Meeting June 26-28, 2016, at the ... several important health care topics including advance care planning, healthcare costs and patient ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... As a lifelong Southern Californian, Dr. Omkar Marathe ... from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He trained in Internal Medicine ... his fellowship in hematology/oncology at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars Sinai program where he had the ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... Those who have experienced traumatic events may suffer from a complex set of ... or alcohol abuse, as a coping mechanism. To avoid this pain and suffering, Serenity ... event. , Trauma sufferers tend to feel a range of emotions, from depression, guilt, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... now offering micro-osteoperforation for accelerated orthodontic treatment. Dr. Cheng has extensive experience with ... Damon brackets , AcceleDent, and accelerated osteogenic orthodontics. , Micro-osteoperforation is a ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... The Haute Beauty Network, ... M. Weintraub as a prominent plastic surgeon and the network’s newest partner. ... the most handsome men, look naturally attractive. Plastic surgery should be invisible.” He ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)...   Pulmatrix, Inc ., (NASDAQ: PULM ... announced today that it was added to the Russell ... comprehensive set of U.S. and global equity indexes on ... milestone for Pulmatrix," said Chief Executive Officer Robert ... progress in developing drugs for crucial unmet medical needs, ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Any dentist who has made an implant supported ... Many of them do not even offer this as a ... laboratory costs involved. And those who ARE able to offer ... high cost that the majority of today,s patients would not ... Zadeh , founder of Dental Evolutions Inc. and inventor of ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Capricor Therapeutics, ... a biotechnology company focused on the discovery, development ... patient enrollment in its ongoing randomized HOPE-Duchenne clinical ... 50% of its 24-patient target. Capricor expects the ... quarter of 2016, and to report top line ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: