Childhood OCD is a heartbreaking condition that is often misdiagnosed because it can look like anything from ADHD to a myriad of behavioral problems. I know this both as a clinician and as the parent of a child who experienced the debilitating symptoms of OCD as a result of a strep infection.

Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder Associated with Strep (PANDAS), or the more generalized version, Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Syndrome (PANS), occurs when the antibodies produced by a strong immune system response to something like Strep or Lyme disease cross the blood brain barrier and trigger tics and/or a host of other OCD symptoms.

Most parents with a child suffering from PANDAS can tell you the exact day that came on. For me, it was December 26th. My daughter was eating a Christmas cookie that she had made with her father, and she found a tiny piece of plastic wrap on the cookie. She launched into a million questions – and I might not be exaggerating. “What if I swallowed plastic wrap mommy?” “How do you know I didn’t swallow plastic wrap?” “Would I suffocate if I swallowed plastic wrap?” “Would I be dead by now if I did swallow plastic wrap?” Read More