Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) affects millions of people in this country from all walks of life. If you or a loved one suffers with OCD, you know the symptoms typically include developing strict routines or avoiding specific objects or situations. But what is the root cause of OCD and how exactly do these behaviors manifest? Once an individual understands how OCD behaviors show up, they can better manage their symptoms.
What Causes OCD?
Health experts are not able to point to one direct cause of OCD, though they have suggested that a family history of the condition may increase a person’s likelihood of developing the behaviors. In addition, it is thought that irregular brain development or impairment of certain regions in the brain may also be linked to the condition. For example, the National Institute of Mental Health suggests OCD may be linked to how your brain responds to serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps regulate mood and sleep.
The following are some other believed factor that contribute to the manifestation of OCD behaviors:
Stress or Trauma
Suffering from stress or a traumatic event can increase a person’s chances of developing OCD or worsening existing symptoms.
Certain personality traits are predisposed to manifesting OCD behaviors. Those individuals who are perfectionists or have difficulty handling uncertainty may develop unwanted behaviors.
Children who experience abuse or trauma have a higher chance of developing the condition.
While the symptoms of OCD can make life feel unbearable, there is help. Often the best first step in recovery is to connect with a therapist who has experience successfully treating OCD.
If you’d like to explore treatment options, please get in touch with me. I’d be more than happy to answer any questions you might have.