Childhood Anxiety and OCD

Childhood Anxiety and OCD offered in Ithaca, Orchard Park, Saratoga Springs and Binghamton, NY

Childhood Anxiety and OCD

Anxiety is normal and expected at times during childhood. But when a child’s fears and worries become overwhelming, making it difficult to sleep, eat, and enjoy activities, it’s time to take action. The compassionate team of licensed therapists at Whole Wellness Counseling in Ithaca, New York and Orchard Park, New York, understands the challenges of childhood anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). They take a holistic approach, focusing on co-creating plans that benefit your child and help build a positive and supportive home environment. Call Whole Wellness Counseling today or schedule a consultation online to learn more about therapy for childhood anxiety and OCD.

Childhood Anxiety and OCD Q&A

What do I need to know about childhood anxiety and OCD?

Childhood anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) cause distress for the child and family. Though anxiety is a part of OCD, they aren’t the same. When making a diagnosis, mental health providers differentiate between anxiety disorders and OCD. 

Childhood anxiety

Anxiety is a normal reaction to fears and is expected during various stages of childhood. For example, It’s normal for a toddler to be fearful when separated from their parents. However, for some children, these fears are intense and overwhelming, affecting their thoughts and behavior.

There are many types of childhood anxiety, including separation anxiety, phobias, and social anxiety. 

Childhood OCD

Childhood OCD is rooted in anxiety, causing children to get caught in a cycle of obsessions and compulsions. It starts with nagging and unwanted thoughts that cause distress. Then, the child engages in repetitive behaviors, or compulsions, to neutralize the anxiety. Or, the child needs the parent to say or arrange things in the “right way,” or the child gets very upset. 

How do I know if my child has anxiety and OCD?

Every parent wants their child to feel happy and secure. Recognizing the signs of anxiety and OCD is important so you can intervene early. 

Signs and symptoms of childhood anxiety and OCD include:

  • Recurring unwanted thoughts that cause distress
  • Having frequent stomach aches or headaches
  • Refusing to go to school
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Tearful
  • Clingy
  • Always seeking reassurance from parents or teachers
  • Easily embarrassed
  • Engaging in ritualistic behaviors

If you have concerns about your child’s anxiety or compulsive behaviors, the compassionate team at Whole Wellness Counseling can get to the source of the problem and create a plan that improves how your child feels. 

What are the treatments for childhood anxiety and OCD?

Your therapist at Whole Wellness Counseling customizes your child’s anxiety and OCD treatment plan based on their diagnosis and severity of symptoms. 

However, the team may recommend Supportive Parenting for Anxious Childhood Emotions (S.P.A.C.E.), a parent-based strategy that helps children with anxiety. 

With S.P.A.C.E., parents learn how to change things at home that help their children thrive, modifying what they say and do so they can draw out their child’s positive behaviors. 

The team may also recommend other forms of therapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and family counseling. 

Childhood anxiety and OCD affect the entire family, but the team at Whole Wellness Counseling can help you create a positive and supportive home environment that benefits everyone. Call or schedule an appointment online today.