Obsessive and compulsive behavior from 9 year old son

by Tamara
(Lake Tahoe)

Question: My son has had many worries for the last couple of months. He has been writing them down which seemed to help. Now he gets very overwhelmed by time pressures to get stuff done; ie get ready for school, bedtime, etc.

He does not like any of his clothes unfolded, even in his dirty clothes hamper. When he packs his hockey bag, it takes forever, and he has to lay everything out, and account for each thing in it. He is walking in a bizare pattern in the house while looking at this floor, like we used to do for fun and not step on a crack.

But this type of walking and stepping forward and backward is on the carpet and everywhere. This is only one small part of the last couple of months, but I worry.

Answer: It sounds like he is definitely having symptoms of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). I would talk to his pediatrician about getting him further evaluated. Without proper treatment, it could continue to get worse and cause even more behaviors to develop that will be hard habits to break.

Finding a cognitive-behavioral therapist in your area to work with him might be a good option. There may also be support groups in your area for children having similar symptoms. Perhaps contacting your local community mental health center will provide you with all of the available resources in your area. Good luck!

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