Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) Causes, Treatment

By Alley Benton
Updated April 20, 2017
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Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) Causes, TreatmentObsessive compulsive disorder is a condition that features a pattern of unreasonable behaviors, fears, and thoughts that might cause you to act in strange or repetitive ways. The compulsions and obsessions involved with OCD will impact your daily experience of life, and can often lead to periods of significant distress. You may find that even if you attempt to stop or ignore your compulsions, this may increase your anxiety even more and lead to serious stress.

OCD often focuses on specific themes, for instance, a fear that you will be contaminated with germs, or a fear that something bad will happen if you don't check that you've locked your door a certain number of times. While OCD can seem impossible to overcome, there is help available that can allow you to regain control of your life. Here, we're going to look at what causes obsessive-compulsive disorder and how is it treated.

The Causes of OCD:

The first step in our exploration of what causes obsessive-compulsive disorder and how is it treated, begins with an examination of the condition. Usually, we can't fully determine what causes OCD, but the main theories regarding the condition include a consideration of biology, genetics, and the environment. For instance, OCD might happen as a result of natural changes in the chemistry or functions of your brain. Some people believe that genetics may have a role to play, as some families have a number of family members with OCD symptoms. Additionally, environmental factors, such as common infections have been suggested as a trigger for obsessive compulsive disorder, though further research is still required.

There are also factors that can increase a person's chances of having obsessive-compulsive disorder. For instance, having other family members that have the disorder might increase your risk of developing OCD. Additionally, stressful or traumatic events in your life might trigger intrusive and strange rituals or thoughts that characterize the features of OCD. Finally, mental health disorders like depression, anxiety, and even substance abuse can also be linked to the development of OCD.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Treatments:

When looking into what causes obsessive-compulsive disorder and how is it treated, it's important to remember that the treatment for this condition might not lead to a cure, but it can help to manage symptoms so that they're less problematic in your daily life. Two of the primary elements of OCD treatment are medication and psychotherapy. Most treatment uses a combination of both options.

In terms of psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is highly effective for some people with OCD. Therapy that includes exposure and response behaviors is usually quite helpful. It involves the gradual exposure of the patient to the thing that causes their obsession to help them learn healthier ways of managing their anxiety.

Medication:

Medications can be used to help control the compulsions and obsessions associated with OCD. Usually, in an attempt to bring emotions and chemicals under control, antidepressants are the first medication used. In certain situations, medication and psychotherapy may not be enough to control the symptoms of OCD. As such, research is currently examining other solutions like deep brain stimulation that might help with treatment.





* Disclaimer:
This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional.