OCD in children

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OCD in children

OCD is an acronym for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. It's a fancy way of saying that children can have obsessions, which are repetitive thoughts about certain things; and compulsions, which are the behaviors that the thoughts can lead them to have. An example of an obsession might be that I have to count to seven every time I walk through a door. Or I may have to not step on a crack because I'm afraid of breaking my mother's back. That's a thought process that is translated into a behavior. That would meet the criteria for OCD. The key thing that we have to remember, is that OCD requires some level of impairment. If a child is walking down the street, steps on a crack, and gets a little bit worried; it's not a big deal. But if a child says, "I'm not going to walk on the sidewalk. I'm going to walk on the street now because there is no cracks on the street, like the sidewalk." That's a degree of impairment, that's a result of obsessions or compulsive actions, that potentially could warrant treatment.

Watch Video: OCD in children by Preetpal Sandhu, MD, ...


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Preetpal Sandhu, MD

Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist

Dr. Sandhu is a UCLA-trained, Board Certified Psychiatrist who has practiced Psychiatry at UCLA and in Beverly Hills for several years. He did his undergraduate work at UCLA where he was named to Phi Beta Kappa. He then completed medical school at the University of Southern California, Keck School of Medicine and was named a Dean's scholar. He also received a master’s degree in Business Administration from University of Southern California, Marshall School of Business where he was named to the Dean's list.

Dr. Sandhu then pursued training in Child, Adolescent, and Adult Psychiatry at the University of California at Los Angeles, Neuropsychiatric Institute (now named the Semel Institute for Neuroscience & Human Behavior). While at UCLA completing his residency and fellowship he was named the Chief Fellow of the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry training program. He then proceeded to work at UCLA as part of the Attending Staff on the Child and Adolescent Inpatient unit. He is a member in good standing of the American Psychiatric Association (APA), the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists (AACAP) and has served as the Southern California Regional Organization’s President.

His areas of interest include attention deficit hyperactivity disorders, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, and the roles coordinated psychiatry and psychotherapy can have in jointly improving outcomes.

Dr. Sandhu lives in the Los Angeles area with his family and is actively involved in teaching medical students, residents, and fellows at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. In his free time, he enjoys surfing, snowboarding, basketball, golf, video games, and travel.

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