New research shows that individuals with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) face greater anxiety over moral dilemmas. The study compared 73 patients with OCD to 73 individuals without it and found that people with OCD show greater activity in the orbitofrontal cortex, which is associated with decision making and moral judgment.
A heightened sense of morality may seem like a good thing, but there are negative implications. The OCD Resource Center of Florida states that “Fear of harming others or self, excessive moralization, and religiosity are often seen in children with OCD. Children and teenagers with OCD frequently have a tendency toward perfectionism and rigidity or stubbornness." They also are likely to “have more anger and guilt."
To help students with OCD overcome their anxiety, OCD Education Station provides helpful advice for the classroom, with an emphasis on fostering awareness among students and boosting self-esteem. The Child Mind Institute provides specific tips on how to best serve students with OCD, including test-taking strategies, homework advice, and seating arrangement considerations.
If you have a child with OCD, you can check out our book, Take Control of OCD, written specifically for kids ages 10–16. It helps students tackle obsessive thoughts, learn to tolerate uncertainty, and develop stress-management techniques, and provides other helpful strategies to help students face their fears.