Also part of the UPMC family:
Also part of the UPMC family:

Common Obsessions — Symptoms of Pediatric OCD

UPMC Content 2

Obsessions — or repeating, unwanted thoughts — are a symptom of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).

Children and adolescents with OCD may have these common obsessions:

Contamination Worries

  • Dirt, germs, bodily fluids, or illnesses
  • Taking on personality traits of others
  • Animals or insects causing illness
  • Household cleaners, solvents, or environmental wastes leading to sickness or injury

Fear of “Bad Things” Happening, Aggressive Thoughts

  • Not being able to control impulses
  • Harming a loved one
  • Environmental disasters
  • Excessive doubt about possessing a stolen item
  • Violent images of harm coming to self or others

Need for Symmetry, Precision (“Just Right” OCD)

  • Not tolerating items out of place
  • Not tolerating the texture of clothing or food
  • Overwhelming feeling that something must be fixed or finished
  • Extreme discomfort when something feels uneven
  • Difficulty making transitions

Urge to Tell, Confess, Ask, Know With Certainty

  • Need to confess every detail about the day
  • Uncertainty about understanding directions perfectly
  • Not tolerating responses that are vague, such as “I don't know” or “maybe” 

Saving, Hoarding

  • Overwhelming need to acquire objects, even if not needed
  • Need to collect or carry items in pockets of no value (e.g., lint, pieces of paper from the floor)

Moral Dilemma and Religious Preoccupations (Scrupulosity)

  • Extreme fear of telling a lie or having an “impure” thought
  • Excessive concern about being right or wrong, or morally acceptable or offensive
  • Excessive worry about offending religious figures or objects
  • Rigid preoccupation with rules
  • Distressing images or thoughts about what happens after death
  • Preoccupation with making the “right” decision

Sexual and “Forbidden” Thoughts

  • Worry that he or she has sexually assaulted a stranger
  • Worry about behaving in a sexually inappropriate way toward a loved one
  • Doubts about sexual orientation

Magical Thinking

  • Associating certain numbers, colors, words, or personal behaviors with other people's actions or the outcomes of events

Make an Appointment With the Pediatric OCD Program

To a schedule an evaluation of your child's symptoms to see if they meet the criteria for an OCD diagnosis, or to discuss OCD treatment options, call 412-235-5354.

Find a Doctor

Browse UPMC doctors and medical professionals to find the care that's right for you. Customize your search by specialty, zip code, last name, and more.

Visit the UPMC Find a Doctor website.
Make an Appointment

Find important information on scheduling your appointment or finding a doctor or service that meets your needs.

Request an appointment now.
Find a Location

Browse addresses and contact information for our network of hospitals, specialty care practices, and community health locations.

Find a UPMC location near you.
Pay Your Bill

Learn more about how to pay your UPMC bill. Find resources including payment methods and contact information for assistance.

Pay your bill now.
Find a Career

Advance your career with UPMC. Discover our latest job listings and learn about our values and career pathways.

Find your ideal career at UPMC.