Who Gets OCD?

OCD can start at any time from preschool to adulthood.

Although OCD can occur at any age, there are generally two age ranges when OCD tends to first appears:

  • Between ages 8 and 12.
  • Between the late teen years and early adulthood.

The average age at which OCD usually appears is 9–10 years old.

There are also at least 1 in 200 – or 500,000 – kids and teens that have OCD. This is about the same number of kids who have diabetes.

That means four or five kids with OCD are likely to be enrolled in any average size elementary school. In a medium to large high school, there could be 20 students struggling with the challenges caused by OCD. [1]


  • [1] March, J. & Benton, C. (2007). Talking Back to OCD. (pp.10-11). The Guilford Press.