What is OCD?
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a mental and behavioural illness in which one is repeatedly overwhelmed with unwanted intrusive thoughts (obsessions) and/or the need to immediately act on it (compulsions). The most common types are the need to constantly check (your phone, your keys, the clock…), clean (your hands, your house, the doorknob…), align (symmetry in objects, put things in a certain order) and ruminations (deep thoughts on the meaning of life, conspiracies, aliens…). You can’t stop these thoughts, nor can you stop the compulsive need to act in it.
In general, all of us suffer from mild versions of OCD. Did I close the window when l left? Did I leave something on the stove? Or thoughts like: I need to get out of bed with my left leg, otherwise I will have a terrible day. However, when young people are diagnosed with OCD, daily life is affected in such a way that they no longer can function.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder within children and young adults
Usually Obsessive Compulsive Disorders are discovered before a child enters puberty. The signs often become apparent once children start school.
Children and young people with OCD feel so overloaded by their own intrusive thoughts everything that they become overstimulated and out of balance. They do not oversee the day and find it difficult to deal with the normality of life. They often want to stop, but can’t. And then by giving in to their thoughts and actions, they feel bad and everything starts all over again.
At Yes We Can Clinics we have a lot of experience with OCD and other problems that can accompany it, such as trauma, depression, anxiety and relational problems. We offer these youngsters warm and expert guidance, so they can face a positive future with confidence.
Signs and symptoms of OCD
Young people diagnosed with an OCD may suffer more or less from:
- Constant checking
- Constant fear of contamination
- Compulsive need to put everything in a certain order
- Show aggression when their needs are not met
- Disturbing dreams and ideas
- Sexual obsessions
As OCD symptoms are often connected to childhood trauma, depression and anxiety, signs very much looks similar to those suffering from autism and addiction. Young people with OCD may have limited interests and may be completely absorbed in a particular activity, so that almost nothing else is paid attention to. This can be associated with repetitive behavior patterns. Young people also often have difficulty with sudden changes.
Treatment of Obsessive Compulsive Disorders
We specialise in dealing with multiple problems (co-morbidity) at Yes We Can Youth Clinics. Our intensive treatment programme helps young people cope with OCD and the other issues they face, so that they can look forward to a bright, new future. Warmth, sincere attention and involvement are central in our approach.
At Yes We Can Youth Clinics, we are available 24/7 to provide warm and professional guidance. We help young people, whom we call 'fellows', to deal with their problems and become empowered, so that they can function well in society again. We do not look at the 'labels' they have received in the past, but rather at their talents, qualities and possibilities. The clinical treatment programme lasts ten weeks. Our follow-up care programme continues to help and guide these young people in their recovery and further development. For example, finding a fulfilling way of life plays an important role.
An important part of the treatment takes place in groups. During group sessions, the fellows share their stories, giving each other feedback and setting personal goals. There is a lot of recognition during these sessions since both the fellows and the experience experts, who run them, have (had) similar problems. This recognition gives the fellows confidence and the will to continue.
Types of treatment
During the treatment, a lot of attention is focused on the fellow's family (systemic therapy). Parents follow our family coaching and counselling programme. Within the clinic, there are daily sports and outdoor activities where fellows work together, push boundaries and put their goals into practice. Behavioural therapy and skills training are also used in the treatment of OCD. The fellows have several one-on-one sessions every week with their regular therapist, who works closely with our other (care) professionals. In this way we always know how the fellows are doing and what they need.
OCD and medication
Fellows may already be taking medication before they come to our clinic. For example, methylphenidate or dextroamphetamine may have been previously prescribed. However, here at Yes We Can Youth Clinics, we opt for treatment without medication. The idea behind this is that we want to treat 'the real fellow', instead of the fellow who is under the influence of drugs.
Responsible phasing out
We strive to reduce any medication that the fellows are already on to zero or to as little as possible during treatment. We do this carefully and accurately, under the watchful eye of our psychiatrists. The safe treatment climate at Yes We Can Youth Clinics, the positive environment and the entire treatment team that is present 24/7 to motivate, support and confront the fellows, where necessary, all ensure that the withdrawal of medication is usually successful. Even once the fellow has left the clinic and continues to work on recovery, medication is often hardly necessary anymore, if at all.
Yes We Can Youth Clinics can effectively treat teenagers and young adults who are suffering from a wide variety of mental health issues. If you have any questions, any at all, you can always contact us. We cannot stress enough that we are always there for you, whether you sign up for a treatment in our clinic or not. You can reach us by phone from Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (GMT +1) via phone number: +31 (0)85 02 01 222. After business hours – weekdays after 6:00 p.m. and on the weekends – your call will be forwarded. Please note that it might take longer than usual to answer your call. If we cannot answer the call right away, please leave a message and we will call you back as soon as possible. You can also fill in our contact form.