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Many children and adolescents suffer from numerous emotional and behavioral disorders Obsessive Compulsive Disorder OCD is a common and often debilitating disorder that can affect a students mental health academics and social relationships Since Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is so prevalent it is crucial for teachers and other student socialization agents to recognize and develop techniques to help these students cope in school It is estimated the prevalence of OCD affects one out of 40 persons OCD is considered the fourth most common psychiatric disorder and believed to affect 1 in 200 youngsters or 3-4 students in an average size elementary school Adams Burke p2 Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is defined separately as obsessions and compulsions Obsessions are referred to as thoughts impulses urges or images that seem to force their way into a persons thinking Adams Burke p2 Some of the most common obsessions that children and adolescents with OCD have include fear of contaminationserious illness fixation on luckyunlucky numbers fear of intruders need for symmetry or exactness and excessive doubt wwwocdresourcecom For example a door handle in the classroom may cause a child to become overly worried about contracting germs A student may also become upset if their desk is not in order or not clean Children often ignore or suppress their obsessions The obsessions often cause the child to experience great discomfort fear andor anxiety Without help the childs thoughts may become out of control and cause them to believe that they are crazy although they are not Adams Burke p3 While obsessions are thoughts that occur in the mind the compulsions are the acts the person engages in to decrease their anxiety from the obsession Compulsions are defined as the overt outward physical or covert internal mental rituals that the sufferer engages in to temporarily relieve the stress that is associated with the unpleasant thoughts or images wwwhealthAtoZcom Most people who have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder suffer from both the obsessions and the compulsions
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