Ten years old is the average age for the onset of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) according to a new guide from the Priory Group designed to educate teachers, parents and carers.
‘Let’s talk about OCD’ is a tool for recognising and managing the early warning signs of the condition, to ensure children receive help, as early as possible.
The guide adds that half of mental health problems tend to appear before the age of 14, with over 80% of adults showing signs of OCD before the age of 18.
It adds that up to 300,000 children in the UK, 3% of children, now live with OCD.
Dr Hayley van Zwanenberg, Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist and Group Associate Medical Director, said: “OCD has become one of the most common mental health illnesses that I treat in children. While the majority of cases I see are those who are suffering in their adolescent years, what often becomes clear is that they were exhibiting signs of OCD at primary school age but were unaware what these symptoms actually meant. If treatment had been given earlier, these problems would not have built up and had such an impact on their day-to-day lives.
“As teachers, carers and parents interact with children on a daily basis, it is important they are educated in identifying the signs that a child is suffering from OCD, so we can ensure the correct treatment and diagnoses are given straight away.”