What Causes OCD

OCD refers to a condition known as obsessive compulsive disorder which is an anxiety problem accompanied by thoughts that are irrational producing fear, apprehension and repetitive behaviors that are aimed at lowering anxiety that associated with the condition. People affected by this condition will be preoccupied with sex, violence, aversion to particular items or numbers, rituals that may involve repeatedly closing a door or opening it a number of times before leaving or entering a room and violence. The symptoms can be a cause of time consuming activities, lead to alienation, emotional and psychotic behaviors. Most people who have OCD issues often realize that they are being irrational which leads to more anxiety as they try to figure out what is their problem.

Experts agree that the condition is caused by several factors mostly biological and psychological which largely contribute to OCD; however there is a disagreement about the extent to which each of this factor affect the person who develops the condition.

According to those who argue support the biological factors OCD has a link to the neurotransmitter serotonin. This neurotransmitter is thought to be responsible for regulating anxiety which either makes it a cause or an effect of the abnormalities. Serotonin helps in sending chemical messages from neuron to the other by binding the receptor sites located to the neighboring nerve cells. The hypothesis stipulates that people who develop OCD are generally under-stimulated. This theory is supported by the fact that OCD sufferers benefit a lot from use of serotonin which is classified as an antidepressant and allows more serotonin to be availed to other nerve cells.

It’s also possible that OCD is caused by genetical mutation as a mutation has been found in human serotonin transporter gene in people who are likely to develop the condition. It has been noted that OCD is more likely to occur in a family of two individuals who have the condition than in any other family. People who develop OCD as children show a stronger link unlike others who develops the condition when they are adults.

Genetics are thought to contribute to about 45 – 65 percent in children who are diagnosed with OCD. The environment is also thought to be a contributing factor in how anxiety is expressed though more intensive studies are still in progress about this factor and hence a clear link is not yet developed. There have been attempts to associate OCD with people who score above average in IQ tests. This is especially due to the tendency of the OCD sufferers to pay a lot of attention to detail, careful planning, a high sense of responsibility and a tendency to take too much time to make decisions.

Diagnosis is done by a clinical social worker, a psychologist or a psychiatrist, for one to be confirmed as obsessive, compulsions or both problems the mental health professional uses the mental disorders diagnostic manual. The person must exhibit significant clinical obsessions and compulsions which have to be recurrent and persistent, these causes marked anxiety and distress to the person.