Obsessive compulsive disorder, more commonly known as OCD is a type of anxiety disorder. OCD is characterized by someone having unnecessary and involuntary thoughts, worries, obsessions, and repetitive behavior. Toddlers and OCD may seem fairly common due to the many quirks toddlers exhibit on a daily basis but it is not considered OCD until it begins to interfere with their normal everyday activities.
Obsessive compulsive disorder affects approximately 1 in 100 children throughout the United States. OCD is a neurological disorder that should not be taken lightly if suspected. Common fears and obsessions associated with this disorder include fear of germs, fear of danger, a need for order, exactness, and collecting out of the ordinary objects. Some of the odd objects toddler may collect include nail clippings, tissues, and bandages. Not all fears and obsessions are the same in every child, they may vary greatly.
The common repetitive behaviors that go along with these fears and fixations are; excessive cleaning, touching certain objects or body parts, counting, and organizing. Many times these behaviors seem so gradual that they go unnoticed by many parents, but they do slowly increase as time goes on. As the fixations increase they become more noticeable and disrupt normal daily schedules.
The anxiety that goes along with toddlers and OCD is so overwhelming in the child’s mind they feel they must complete the certain rituals they have created or something “bad" will happen to them or someone they care about. When these rituals are done repeatedly it will in time actually make the anxiety worse. As they continue with the rituals for longer the anxiety will keep increasing and may perpetuate into even more phobias and or repetitive behaviors.