PANDAS- OCD in Children

(As always, this content is not intended nor should it be a substitute for the medical advice of physicians. This article and the contents of this website are intended for information purposes only.)

 

This is a rare health issue in children.  PANDAS stands for ‘Pediatric Autoimmune Neuro-psychiatric Disorder Associated with Strep’.  This is characterized by a sudden onset of OCD after an illness.   It got it’s name from strep as it was associated with strep when it was diagnosed, but it can be caused by other viruses or bacteria as well.

Sometimes children grow out of it and sometimes they don’t.  This can be a devastating problem to have especially if you don’t know what it is or what is going on to cause these strange symptoms.  As many people probably know that OCD or obsessive compulsive disorder, is a disorder that is characterized by having to touch or tap things a certain number of times or having to check things like the stove or iron several times to be sure you turned them off, or having to say certain words a certain number of times or a more common problem of having to wash hands several times a day because of an irrational fear of germs.  These are just some of the many varied symptoms that can accompany this problem.

These compulsions and obsessions are prompted by irrational fears.  The part of the brain that rationalizes and makes decisions doesn’t work correctly and thoughts can get ‘stuck’ and a feeling of unease can ensue.  It’s  also  an anxiety issue.

If one suspects they or a loved one has this problem they need to seek help immediately as the sooner treatment can start the better.  A psychiatrist is usually the doctor that would diagnose this as it is usually out of the expertise of pediatricians.  Allopathic treatment usually involves CBT or cognitive behavioral therapy and/or medication.

Healthcare professionals who want to try and get to the root cause of this problem look at mercury toxicity, low minerals, and/or a miasm as some of the causes.  When a sudden onset occurs then it is helpful to talk with your doctor about possible pituitary damage or some other possible damage to some portion of the brain.  It’s also critical that the proper tests are ordered and interpreted correctly to get a true picture of what’s going on.

There are natural products and procedures that often help with this problem as well.  A good doctor who also uses natural medicine should be sought to get to the bottom of this problem and hopefully help the body and brain heal itself.

With the proper care and treatment this problem can get better and the sooner treatment starts the better.

 

take care,

Beverly

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3 Responses to PANDAS- OCD in Children

  1. Mijanur June 7, 2012 at 1:43 am #

    a0a0 This review is from: The athuor sets out to prove successfully in my view that drug treatment for conditions such as ADHD, OCD, depression, and anxiety are vastly inferior to behavioral therapy. Though many contend that chemical imbalances are responsible for producing these disorders, Stephen Ray Flora argues and presents credible prove showing how cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), instead of pharmacological intervention, can right such problems and lead people in the direction of human health with markedly lower relapse rates and with results that are lasting. Drugs do not fundamentally re-shape our worldview into a more constructive, healthier outlook. For instance, if we have an anxiety disorder that results from heights, broadcast seats, or broadcast speaking, taking a medication will not fundamentally resolve those issues. Instead, through exposure-response therapy, people are forced to confront their fears and place out the unhealthy response to a particular environmental stimulus (such as a cliff, or a stage in front of many people). Indeed, the manifestation of other psychological conditions can be examined through the lens of behaviorism. OCD is fueled by seeking relief from anxiety (negative reinforcement). Depression is perpetuated by avoiding activities that, in and of themselves, would resolve the depression itself (negative reinforcement). Though I do not wish to spoil the substance of the book by going into detail, Flora shows how environmental reinforcers can produce these conditions of mental illness and how they can be resolved. The athuor’s scrutiny of ADHD and schizophrenia was also very enlightening. This book is empowering for those seeking to take control of a particular condition they may have. Instead of outsourcing blame ( Oh, it’s not my fault; it’s the OCD ) or reducing the complication to a simple resolution ( I just need a pill. ), Flora provides an engaging and well-researched discourse of certain conditions and shows how the tools for overcoming these problems is readily accessible for anyone equipped and willing to work. CBT and/or exposure-response therapy is many times more effective than drugs by really correcting psychological problems, not masking them. I believe our culture is too demanding of solutions in life that come quickly and in something as simple as a pill. We have become too keen to take medications despite the fact that psychiatry has only proven that there is a CORRELATION between brain chemistry imbalance and mental illness, *NOT* causation. The athuor jokes in the beginning of the book how the victor in a martial arts struggle has a higher testosterone count (the chemical’) than the person he defeated. Does that mean that the loser has some kind of physical struggle victory deficiency disorder? Additionally, Jeffrey Schwartz has shown using PET scans how CBT and EX/RP (exposure-response therapy) can alter brain chemistry to healthier levels, without drugs. To the skeptics and critics: Flora addresses the arguments presented in favor of drug intervention. The athuor will demonstrate how medications can even interfere with the effectiveness of CBT, not improve it. In fact, as you will read in the chapter on depression, if mental illness was a bona-fide chemical problem, why did more people improve with only placebos in one study vs. those who took real medications (Duke University study)? This was a very excellent read! I highly recommend it!

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