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Friday, July 1, 2016
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Children
My husband suffers from OCD. I would like to know if my son is showing signs of OCD, because he keeps asking me if he is a good boy. He needs reassurance from me the whole time that he is good. Sometimes every second sentence is - "Am I a good boy?"
Anytime there is mental illness in the family, all family members can suffer. I certainly cannot diagnose your son over the internet, but the fact he is constantly needing reassurance as to his worth should alert you to, at a minimum, concerns about depression, anxiety or acting out. Of course, his age would be an important factor, as behaviorally, we expect different actions from a 4-year-old than a 14-year-old.
I encourage you to seek some family counseling as a starting place. With your husband's illness, all family members need a safe place to discuss and understand how this affects the family dynamics. This would offer a counselor or therapist a chance to observe your son, hear your concerns, and decide if further evaluation of your son is necessary.
Nancy Elder, MD
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati