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
More from Beliefnet
Many medical groups felt that early exposure to certain foods like peanuts increased a child's risk of developing food allergies. However, newer research including this trial suggest that early exposure may actually decrease the risk of developing food allergies.
Breastfeeding May Decrease the Risk of Childhood Obesity
Tonsillectomy May Reduce Number of Sore Throat Days in Children
Research Review Finds Little Support for Nearly Half of Medical Talk Show Recommendations