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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Causes

(Also Known As: Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Causes, Compulsion Causes, Obsession Causes, OCD Causes)

(Reviewed by: Paul Peterson, Licensed Therapist)

What causes Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?

Although the cause of obsessive-compulsive disorder is not known, some theories attribute the cause of OCD to the following factors 2:

  • Biological Factors. There is proof that OCD may be due to changes in the natural chemistry or brain functions of the individual’s body. Likewise, OCD is linked to the individual’s genetic makeup, although certain genes still need to be determined.
  • Environmental Factors. Researchers believe that OCD may trace its roots from behavior-related habits acquired over time.
  • Insufficient Level of Serotonin. Serotonin serves as one of the four chemical messengers of the brain. Studies revealed that an insufficient level of serotonin may lead to OCD. Individuals who are taking serotonin-activating medications exhibit fewer symptoms of the condition.
  • Strep Throat. According to some studies, children who have been infected with the group A beta-hemolytic streptococcal pharyngitis or strep throat are more likely to have OCD compared to other children.
  • Family Background. An individual who belongs to a family or has parents with OCD are prone to suffer from the condition as well. However, there are no specific genes that are responsible for this condition 3.
  • Traumatic Life Events. An individual who shows strong reactions to stress is at a greater risk of suffering from OCD. These behaviors trigger the intrusive rituals and emotional distress attributes of OCD.
  • Pregnancy. Studies reveal that pregnant women or new mothers are at a greater risk of experiencing OCD, although there is no clear reason for such belief.

In addition, research also shows that OCD is brought about by problems in communication between the orbital cortex and basal ganglia of the brain. This is what causes the insufficiency in the amount of serotonin in the brain. While a reduced amount of serotonin contributes to OCD, there is no laboratory tests used for assessing the condition 4.

Could You Have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Topics

Related Conditions

Anxiety Disorder NOS – Pathological Fears, Excessive Worry, Anxiousness, Phobias, Stress
Dependent Personality Disorder- Pervasive Psychological Dependence on Others, Dependent, Anxiety, Depression, Excessive Need for Others in Order to Become Functional
Narcissistic Personality Disorder – Grandiosity, Self Admiration, Lack of Empathy, Obsession for Oneself, Self-Centeredness
Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder – Obsession for Perfection, Obsession for Order and Rules, Perfectionist