OCD & Anxiety Disorders: Crash Course Psychology #29
At What Age Does OCD Usually Begin?
OCD can start at any age, but it commonly begins in childhood. The experts talk about the age ranges in which they've seen OCD.
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Everyday Health:Does obsessive-compulsive disorder usually begin at a certain age? Can someone go through life without having OCD, and then suddenly start showing symptoms as an older person?
Jeff Szymanski, PhD ()
OCD can start at any time from preschool to adulthood. Although OCD does occur at earlier ages, there are generally two age ranges when OCD first appears: Between ages 10 and 12 and between the late teens and early adulthood.
Jonathan Abramowitz, PhD ()
It typically starts between 18 and 25 but can begin anytime. I’ve met kids as young as 6 or 7 years old with it. It’s less likely to show up for the first time the older you get, except when women become pregnant and deliver babies, they’re at greater risk for developing OCD symptoms.
Steven J. Brodsky, PsyD ()
The average age of onset is 7 years old, and there are cases that include infants. Often people think it developed later in life, but that's just when it was identified. Many times, people mistakenly think their OCD has magically disappeared for years and then it reoccurs. In reality, all that disappeared were their circumstances, routine, setting, and triggers, but it all comes back when circumstances change again. Frequently this can be around life transitions. Sometimes, OCD can be manageable but then become acute due to medical circumstances, such as pregnancy and childbirth.
Charles H. Elliott, PhD, and Laura L. Smith, PhD ()
OCD often strikes in childhood, although it's relatively rare before the ages of four or five. Although people can develop OCD symptoms at any time in their lives, typically symptoms appear by young adulthood, if not before.
Kenneth Schwarz, PhD ()
OCD symptoms can begin at any age, even in later adulthood. Usual onset is in adolescence, with boys showing a trend to earlier onset than girls. For children younger than adolescence, OCD symptoms are similar to the ones adults experience.
Charlotte M. Scott ()
OCD has no age recognition; trauma and severe grief can trigger the disorder at any age. Although it appears that the fears, obsession, and compulsions can be "learned" by children and teens in the household of a person who suffers from OCD.
Allen H. Weg, EdD ()
Most adults can trace early signs of OCD back to childhood, but plenty of people experience the initial onset at early adolescence. It is believed that a combination of the hormonal changes that take place at that age, together with the growing demands and responsibilities of life might play a role. A much smaller percentage of individuals experience OCD onset after age 30. This is rare, but does seem to happen on occasion.
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