Treatment for Children with OCD

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16 year-old Severn is enjoying a short

break at a group therapy session at UCLA

he has earned it

Severn is suffering from

obsessive-compulsive disorder he is here

to regain control of his life there

wasn't really anything that really

started it just came out at the blue

really thoughts just keep coming over

and over and I was doing compulsions and

I didn't know what it was

Severn is a star athlete a cross-country


college-bound but without warning he

began having persistent thoughts of

hurting himself though he was not

depressed or suicidal OCD patients like

Severn often attempt to reduce or

prevent the anxiety caused by persistent

irrational intrusive thoughts by

performing rituals or repetitive

behaviors my mind would told me not to

step on cracks or not go over the line

when I would write in homework or I

couldn't do anything in threes Severn

couldn't use a black pen wear a black

shirt thinking it would make his fears

of hurting himself come true normally he

was pretty happy child and um so I just

we couldn't figure it out it just seems

so bizarre looking for answers Severns

family sought out UCLA's new pediatric

OCD intensive outpatient program I think

with that without knowing that there's

this thing called OCD and other people

have it and it's an actual discreet

disorder he just felt like it was just

him and he was going crazy in this new

intensive outpatient program Severn will

come four days a week for about three

weeks it is complex therapy including

education and what's called an exposure

and response prevention technique what

we do is expose the child to the feared

situation they learn that nothing bad is

going to happen and they gradually

habituate to the fear so the fear

lessons went earrings hiding

five good seven because he was afraid of

overdosing on pills or hurting himself

with a knife the exposures that he has a

treatment are he's in a room with a

knife or he's a room with pills I

believe the best way to treat it is with

some type of intensive program behind

UCLA's established and highly effective

OCD programs researchers here are

looking for causes of the disorder

developing new medications and

treatments the UCLA OCD program is very

well respected and people come from all

over to come here we're really at the

cutting edge both within with the

research that we're doing and the

treatment so we're applying all the new

knowledge Severns family and doctor has

granted us privileged access to share

this life-changing journey along with


he is facing down his greatest fears and

developing coping skills that will help

him for the rest of his life I notice a

pretty big difference from when I first

came here to now I am realizing that I'm

not going to hurt myself I don't want to

I don't have any intentions of hurting

myself and that those are just thoughts

and the thoughts which is um I know how

to manage the thoughts a lot better I

didn't know how intense it was going to

be but I have to say it it worked and

now he is he has gone through all of his

compulsions he's wiped him out and so

very proud of him because it's been hard

work but he's done a great job