Obsessive compulsive disorder is a mental health condition which is caused by a combination of factors- biological, psychological and social factors.
OCD may run in families and can be inherited. It can be caused as a result of certain infections. The personality of the person and their coping mechanism to stress also plays a role in expression of OCD. OCD may be triggered by stress in a person’s life.
Are people born with OCD or does it develop later?
It is now known that OCD is inherited and runs in families. People who later present with OCD may carry the gene responsible for the disorder. However, for the condition to express itself, there may be other precipitating factors such as stress, one’s coping mechanism to stress, lifestyle factors etc.
Can OCD develop suddenly?
The onset of OCD in an individual is usually gradual. However, OCD can develop suddenly in response to infections or a sudden traumatic incident.
What triggers OCD to develop?
Even if one is predisposed to developing OCD genetically, it is often triggered by trauma such as stress. This can be acute stress or chronic stress. Death of someone close, illness, losing a job, divorce can all be a source of stress. One has to learn to handle and manage stress effectively as a lifestyle factor.
What are the various theories of causation of OCD?
Various psychiatrists over the years have put forward theories of causation of OCD including biological, behavioural and cognitive (thinking). Now it is known that there is no single cause that makes OCD express as a mental health condition. Variety of factors make OCD express.
Can OCD be inherited?
It is known now that OCD runs in families and can be inherited from blood related family members.
What is the chemical imbalance that causes OCD?
There are several neurotransmitters in the brain such as serotonin, dopamine and glutamate. These chemicals are known to be altered in people with OCD. However, it has also been found that there are also changes in the way parts of the brain communicate with each other and also some structural changes have been noted in research.
Is OCD caused by low serotonin?
Though not a direct cause, serotonin is a neurotransmitter in the brain and it has been found to be low in people with OCD. We also know that some Selective serotonin Reuptake inhibitors (SSRI), which are medications that increase the serotonin in the brain improves symptoms of OCD.
Can a traumatic childhood cause OCD?
It has been found that traumatic events and suffering trauma as a child has an increased risk of one developing OCD later in life. This can be addressed in therapy if one presents with OCD.
Can your personality cause OCD?
There is a type of Personality disorder known as Obsessive Compulsive personality disorder or Anankastic personality disorder which should not be confused with OCD. Certain traits in a person such as perfectionism, impulsivity, being too responsible are all factors that may predispose a person to developing OCD.
Can alcohol cause OCD?
Alcohol abuse can trigger OCD as it is a stress to the body. Alcohol addiction also makes treatment of OCD difficult and can make the symptoms worse. Alcohol also cause co morbid depression and anxiety along with OCD.
Can infections cause OCD?
Some infections can trigger an autoimmune reaction in the brain causing the brain to get inflamed (that is… the antibodies produced against the infection by one’s immune system attacking the brain). This can trigger OCD.
What is PANDAS?
PANDAS is short form for a condition called Paediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric disorder associated with Streptococcus. This occurs in children as an autoimmune response to Streptococcal infection. The body’s immune response to Streptococcal infection causes it to attack certain areas of the brain causing symptoms of OCD, anxiety and tic disorders.
Can depression cause OCD?
Depression cannot cause OCD but depression can be present alongside OCD. Both conditions can be present together. Medications used to treat OCD will help the depressed mood as well as serotonin is the neurotransmitter that is corrected.
Can vitamin deficiency cause OCD?
Studies have shown that vitamin B 12 deficiency causes many mental health problems including dementia and depression. Symptoms of OCD is known to occur in deficiency of Vitamin B 12 as evidenced in studies.
Can certain toxins cause OCD?
Toxins such as drugs of abuse can precipitate OCD and make it worse. It can lead to difficulties in treating people with OCD and maintaining remission.
Is OCD associated with high IQ?
There is a widespread myth that people with above normal intelligence suffer from OCD. However, research has refuted this idea and OCD does not have a link with high intelligence.
Is OCD associated with autism?
People with autism have repetitive and stereotyped behaviour that can be confused with compulsions. However, it has also been noted that anxiety disorders and very common in people with autism. Additionally, OCD occurs in around 15 to 20% of people with autism spectrum disorders.
What happens to the brain of someone with OCD?
People with OCD are known to have changes in the brain. Some parts of the brain are reduced in volume and other parts of the brain are increased in volume.
Can OCD be learned from other people?
It has been thought that compulsions (which are repetitive behaviours such as checking the locks, checking the gas stove etc) can be learnt behaviours.
Why does OCD cause doubt?
OCD has been known in the past as a “doubting disease”. Doubt is the core feature of OCD and the area of the brain which is able to be satisfied that one is certain that it is Ok is affected. Say for example., a person with OCD is constantly doubting if he or she has locked the door. They cannot be certain even if they have checked the lock twice. There is a feeling of uneasiness or they still doubt. This makes them check the doors several times.
How do you explain OCD intrusive thoughts?
We know that an obsession is an intrusive thought (or image or an urge) that keeps coming into the mind repeatedly even when one tries to resist it. Though there have been several propositions of why this happens, psychiatrists do not know for sure why these intrusive thoughts keep coming into one’s mind. For example., if you are asked NOT to think of a pink hippo then immediately your mind starts to think of a pink hippo and cannot get rid of this thought.
What causes anxiety in OCD?
Anxiety is caused in OCD when one tries to resist the thoughts that keep intruding into one’s mind and preventing compulsions. Hence in cognitive behaviour Therapy the thoughts are tackled little by little so that anxiety is manageable. Over period of time with CBT, anxiety reduces.
What conditions co-exist with OCD?
There are a variety of disorders that may be co morbid along with OCD. Depression, anxiety disorders and panic disorders may co-exist. Also, some disorders such as tic disorders and Trichotillomania (where there are urges to pull one’s hair) and illness anxiety disorder can also be present along with OCD.