Dr Balu Pitchiah MBBS, MRCPsych, CCST,MBA (OXON)
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What Causes OCD?

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Although obsessive compulsive disorder or OCD is a relatively common disorder, we still do not understand why it happens. Doctors and scientists are still asking the question what is OCD and trying to identify its causes.

Causes of OCD

Possible Causes of OCD

Some of the most important research into the causes of OCD has revealed that this condition is associated with changes in the brain. When you have OCD, the levels of a brain chemical called serotonin are often lower than normal. The activity levels in certain portions of the brain can also be higher than normal in people affected by OCD. However, the reasons why these changes take place in the brain are still not fully understood. It seems that there are many different factors that contribute to OCD, from your genes to your experiences and environment. In the future, we should learn more about how these factors interact to affect your brain and cause the symptoms of OCD.

Risk Factors for OCD

Although we still don’t know why some people are affected by OCD, research into this condition has given us some insight into what is OCD and who is most likely to be affected. It seems that there is a genetic component to this condition, because it sometimes runs in families. This means that you are more likely to be affected if another person in your family has OCD. The risk of OCD is also higher in people who have experienced traumatic events. Other characteristics that are associated with an increased risk of OCD include being particularly neat and meticulous, feeling more anxious than normal, and having a strong sense of responsibility. However, even if you have all of these risk factors it doesn’t mean that you will necessarily develop OCD. It just means that you are at slightly higher risk than other people.

OCD

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