DefinitionObsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder . A person with OCD has unwanted repetitive thoughts and behaviors.
CausesThe cause is of OCD is unknown. OCD may be due to neurobiological, environmental, genetic, and psychological factors. An imbalance of a brain chemical called serotonin may play a major role.
|The genes that you inherit from your family may play a role in the development of OCD.|
|Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.|
Risk FactorsOCD is more common in late adolescence into early adulthood. Your risk is also higher if you have family members with a history of OCD.
SymptomsOCD may cause:
- Obsessions—unwanted, repetitive, and intrusive ideas, impulses, or images; common obsessions include:
- Persistent fears that harm may come to self or a loved one
- Unreasonable concern with being contaminated
- Unreasonable concerns about safety
- Unacceptable religious, violent, or sexual thoughts
- Excessive need to do things correctly or perfectly
- Persistent worries about a tragic event
- Compulsions—repetitive behaviors or mental acts to reduce the distress associated with obsessions; common compulsions include:
- Excessive checking of door locks, stoves, water faucets, and light switches
- Repeatedly making lists, counting, arranging, or aligning things
- Collecting and hoarding useless objects
- Repeating routine actions a certain number of times until it feels right
- Unnecessary rereading and rewriting
- Mentally repeating phrases
- Repeatedly washing hands
- Other anxiety disorders
- Organic brain syndrome
- Tourette syndrome
- Attention deficit disorder
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