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Developing Minds NY

Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist located in FiDi (Financial District), New York, NY

Early-onset obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) typically affects children between the ages of 10-12, but it can also develop in early childhood or late adolescence. OCD causes significant distress and can interfere with all aspects of your child’s life, including emotional development, learning, and social interaction. Fortunately, OCD is highly treatable. At Developing Minds NY, in the Financial District of Manhattan, Stephen Gamss, DO, offers his expertise in diagnosing and treating OCD to children, teens, and their families. To schedule an evaluation for OCD, call the office in New York City, or book online today.


What is OCD?

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) affects children, adolescents, and adults. It’s characterized by intrusive, obsessive thoughts and uncontrollable impulses. 

These feelings cause patients to repeat actions or rituals in an attempt to alleviate their distress. However, these compulsive behaviors provide only temporary relief, so your child ends up repeating them over and over again.

What causes OCD?

Researchers aren’t yet clear about what exactly causes OCD; it appears to be a problem in the neurochemical messaging system of the brain. Genetics, certain infections, and a history of abuse have been linked to an increased risk of OCD.

How do I know if my child has OCD? 

If your child has OCD, you might notice the following behaviors:

  • Excessive hand-washing or cleaning
  • Constantly re-doing things like writing or tasks
  • Repeating a word, phrase, or question over and over
  • Checking and rechecking doors or locks
  • Frequent touching or tapping 
  • Stepping or walking in a repeated pattern

Your child might need to have their personal space organized in a specific way. They may need to place objects in a symmetrical configuration or line them up by size, and experience distress if they're out of place.

What services are available for OCD?

OCD can be challenging to diagnose in children. Dr. Gamss and the team at Developing Minds NY have the expertise to accurately diagnose OCD, even in very young patients.

Dr. Gamss also recommends treatment solutions for children and adolescents and provides resources to help them recover from the distress of OCD.

Available services for OCD include:

Diagnostic evaluation

To diagnose OCD, Dr. Gamss performs a comprehensive neuropsychiatric evaluation, which consists of a 90-minute assessment session and a review of their medical history. He may also request genetic testing as well as input from your child’s school, medical team, and previous or current mental health providers. 

Medication management

Medication can benefit many patients with OCD. Dr. Gamss provides ongoing monitoring of how your child responds to psychiatric medication and tracks their current progress. He also makes changes in dosage or medicines when needed.

Comprehensive evaluation report

Developing Minds NY provides evaluation reports to your child’s school, outside agencies, benefits providers, and other entities. These reports confirm your child’s eligibility for services and support that can help them gain control over their OCD symptoms and lead a happy, productive life.

To schedule a consultation at Developing Minds NY, call today or book online.