Has your child’s personality abruptly changed, or they had a sudden onset of disruptive behaviors or OCD symptoms? It could be PANS/PANDAS.
Pediatric Acute-onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome
PANS is when an infectious activation, environmental factors, and other possible triggers create a misdirected immune response results in inflammation on a child’s brain. In turn, the child quickly begins to exhibit life changing symptoms such as OCD, severe restrictive eating, anxiety, tics, personality changes, decline in math and handwriting abilities, sensory sensitivities, and more.
Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections
PANDAS happens when the strep bacteria activates a misguided immune response and causes in inflammation in a child’s brain. The child quickly begins to exhibit life changing symptoms such as aggressive behaviors, severe, often debilitating anxiety, mood changes, OCD symptoms, personality changes, a rapid change and decline in math and handwriting abilities, sensory sensitivities, restrictive eating, and more.
Often with PANS/PANDAS, there is a sudden change in your child’s demeanor including becoming more aggressive, irritable, or moody despite little change in their daily routine, often after a bout with the flu, ear infections, or strep throat.
OCD consists of many types of obsessions & compulsions
Listed below are a few OCD symptoms provided by the PANDAS Physician Network. Many people believe that Obsessive Compulsive Disorder symptoms are limited to repetitive hand washing, checking if they turned off the computer, locked the doors, etc., or repeatedly turning the lights off and on. There are many more behaviors considered OCD.
- Contamination obsessions
- Religious or sexual obsessions
- Aggressive thoughts to harm themself or others
- Placing objects in a particular order or alignment
- Ordering, counting, or arranging compulsions
- Need to touch, tap, or rub
- Intrusive images, words, music, or noise
- Urgent need to tell, ask, or confess something
- Colors, numbers, or words with special significance
- Ritualized eating habits
Traditionally, PANS/PANDAS is treated with a combination of medication, CBT, and Exposure therapy. However, I have found there is often a history of trauma associated with the initial onset of symptoms.
A child can be incorrectly diagnosed and in turn end up with a series of negative experiences with physicians and medications. Resulting in thoughts and feelings of being broken, defective, or out of control of his/her brain and body.
EMDR therapy addresses trauma, OCD, and other symptoms of PANS/PANDAS. I have many success stories diagnosing and working with experts to coordinate a treatment plan for children and families to overcome PANS/PANDA.
I am happy to have a phone consultation to see if I am a good therapeutic fit for your family.