Diet, Nutrition, and Supplements

There is no scientific evidence to prove any benefits gained from herbs or nutritional supplements as an effective treatment of OCD. There are, however, potential harmful effects from interactions between certain SSRI antidepressants and, for example, the herbal remedy St. John's Wort, which can result in a dangerous condition known as serotonin syndrome.

Still, many parents who have used vitamin and other supplements for their children with OCD offer anecdotal reports of improved mood states and reduced symptoms. Among the nutritional supplements they (and some psychiatrists) recommend are B complex, omega 3 fish oil, and calcium/magnesium. The potential use of any vitamin supplements and herbal medicines for your child's OCD should be discussed with your doctor.

If your child or adolescent is dealing with OCD, there are clear benefits to be gained from cutting down the amount of highly sugared and caffeinated products in his diet. This includes candy, cookies and cakes, sodas, coffee, tea and other “energy boosting” bars or drinks containing high amounts of sugar and caffeine. These products can increase anxiety and nervousness in a child with OCD, ADHD or social anxiety. A balanced diet with all food groups represented is an important element in the home care of a child with OCD. Also important is an adherence to a regular routine for three meals a day.

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