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The Characteristics of Early-Onset OCD

By August 1, 2011

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Although symptoms of OCD can begin at almost any age, research suggests that there are two distinct periods when OCD symptoms are most likely to appear. The first occurs around the ages of 10 to 12 or just before puberty and the second is between the ages of 18 to 23.  A study in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines sought to identify how age of onset would relate to symptoms and response to treatment. They found that earlier age of onset was correlated wtih longer duration of illness, higher rates of comorbid tics, more frequent ordering and repeating compulsions and greater parent-reported psychosocial difficulties. Response to treatment did not differ as a function of age of symptom onset.

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