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The Different Causes Of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder involving unreasonable thoughts and fears that lead to repetitive behaviors.  Many people with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder understand that their thoughts are irrational but feel unable to change.  In an effort to relieve the anxiety they feel, they participate in compulsive behaviors that provide them temporary reprieve.  Some of the common themes associated with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder include:

  • Need For Cleanliness
  • Need For Order And Sameness
  • Need To Count
  • Need To Check
  • Need to Prevent Something from Happening

Though the causes of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder vary from one individual to another, we hope to shed some light on some of the more common causes identified in the majority of patients with OCD.  The 3 main foundational factors associated with OCD are:

  • Biological Causes
  • Insufficient Serotonin Levels
  • Environmental Influences

Biological Causes

Biological causes of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder can be related to genetic issues.  For example, an individual is more likely to be diagnosed with OCD if a parent or other family member has also been diagnosed.  Biological causes may also include way an individual’s brain functions and the natural changes in their body chemistry.

 Insufficient Serotonin Levels

Serotonin has been shown to play a role in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.  Individuals diagnosed with OCD tend to have lower levels of serotonin, a monoamine neurotransmitter that contributes to feelings of happiness and well-being.

 Environmental Influences

Environmental causes of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder include patterns or behaviors we have learned through exposure to the world around us.  For example certain behaviors seen in a parent, sibling, or friend could be acquired over time.  Other environmental factors include stressors experienced by an individual that bring on anxiety.  An individual who might be prone to OCD can be triggered from a situation like the death of a loved one, relationship problems, or work stress to engage in the patterns of thought and behavior associated with the disorder.

 Getting Help

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder can be debilitating to the individual who suffers from the disorder.  The good news is that there are a wide range of treatments, including medication and therapy, that can reduce, if not eliminate symptoms, to allow for a happy and enjoyable life.  If you have questions or concerns about obsessive-compulsive disorder, the professionals at Proliance Center are here to help!

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