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A Journal on Psychiatry, Psychology and Psychopharmacology

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Social Psychiatry
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Minerva Psichiatrica 2011 June;52(2):89-95


language: English

Rage and obsessive-compulsive disorder

Storch E. A. 1, 2, Jones A. 1, Lewin A. B. 1, Jane Mutch P. 1, Murphy T. K. 1, 2

1 Department of Pediatrics, University of South Florida, St. Petersburg, FL, USA 2 Department of Psychiatry, University of South Florida, St. Petersburg, FL, USA


AIM: Rage episodes have been documented in youth with varied psychiatric disorders, but no data on the incidence and correlates of rage episodes in those with primary obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) have been reported.
METHODS: Participants in this study included 80 outpatients, ages 4-17 years, who presented at an initial assessment for a prospective study investigating immune factors in pediatric neuropsychiatric disorders. Patients were administered a diagnostic measure and clinician-rated measures of obsessive-compulsive severity and tic severity. Children completed a measure of anxiety, while parents completed the Tourette’s Disorder Scale.
RESULTS: Those youth with OCD who exhibited rage episodes had greater obsessive-compulsive symptom severity, increased frequency of sexual, religious, and aggressive obsessions, increased checking, and a shorter duration of illness relative to those without rage. Relative to those without rage, youth who exhibited rage episodes had lower frequency of comorbid tic disorders. Anxiety, mood and attention deficit symptoms, PANDAS caseness, and patterns of comorbidity did not differentiate groups.
CONCLUSION:The present results suggest that rage episodes are relatively common, associated with increased obsessive-compulsive symptom severity, and negatively related to tic comorbidity. Further research is needed to understand the phenomenology of rage in childhood OCD, including psychosocial correlates, situational triggers, and strategies that parents and clinicians use to respond to explosive behavior.

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