Do you have any recurring thoughts, ideas, and images in your mind that cause you a lot of anxiety? Have you ever developed an unreasonable ritual or habit just to satisfy your irrational thoughts, and which is very hard to ignore? If so, you might be suffering from an obsessive-compulsive behavior. Check for the complete signs of obsessive compulsive disorder or OCD.
Obsessions are the unwanted and repetitive urges, images and thoughts that keep coming to your mind. They bug you and cause a lot of distress and anxiety. For example, you might intensively worry about contaminating your hands with germs because of your fear of getting sick. While this may also bother other people to some extent, it bothers you deeply and makes you very uncomfortable. You will know that it is no longer a simple problem if your thinking focuses on that alone, and it is unbecoming of your character to do so.
Compulsions, on the other hand, are actions done to lessen the anxiety caused by certain obsessions. For example, an action that may help reduce your fear of contaminating germs and getting sick because of them like constant hand washing or cleaning of things in more meticulous ways than others. Some compulsions are not evident to other people. People with compulsions may not always have a reasonable explanation as to why they are doing so.
Instead, they will just describe the feeling like they need to do something until they get it right.
Though compulsive actions can irritate most people – both the affected person and the immediate surroundings – it is important to understand that these measures are just simple ways to help the person cope with his or her obsessions. People with OCD may feel extreme anxiety if they are not able to complete their compulsive actions because it does not satisfy their obsession.
7 Signs Of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
The exact cause of OCD is unknown. However, doctors and experts put forward different theories based on researches and studies that may explain the possible grounds why a person with OCD suffers from it.
One of the first possible causes of OCD is genetics. Studies showed that OCD cases run in different family members. As a matter of fact, it can even be considered a familial disorder. It may cover several generations of close relatives, which means that if you have a family member who has a history of OCD, your chances of acquiring the disorder are very high.
2. Behavioral Causes
The behavioral cause of OCD may stem from the fact that a person may associate certain objects and situations with fear. They will then realize that they can control this fear when they perform rituals to get rid of the anxiety and the troublesome yet unrealistic fears.
The fear or ritual cycle may happen during periods of intense stress or similar situations.
3. Cognitive Causes
The cognitive theory about the cause of OCD relies on how people suffering from OCD misinterpret their line of thoughts. All people entertain unwelcome thoughts in their lifespan. However, those with OCD tend to exaggerate these unwelcome thoughts which cause distress and anxiety.
As long as the person with OCD incorrectly interprets these intrusive thoughts as being true, he or she will continue to think about it. To lessen the issues of anxiety, he or she will make ways to amend it and ensure that everything is in order because of the rituals.
4. Environment Causes
The environment can also play a significant role when it comes to the development of OCD cases in people. For example, children or adolescents who experienced a traumatic brain injury may be at a higher risk for developing obsessive-compulsive.
A study even shows that 30% of children from age 6 to 18 who had traumatic brain injury developed OCD symptoms within 12 months of their injury.
Many studies also prove that people with OCD often report stressful environment and traumatic events before the onset of OCD symptoms begin.
5. Neurological Causes
The brain controls what we think, how we move, what we should do, etc. Brain imaging techniques such as brain scans show different activities on the various areas of our brain. Experts found out that people with OCD have different brain structures or activities when compared to normal people. However, the exact cause of these differences about OCD development is not yet known.
An imbalance of a neurotransmitter known as Serotonin, it also likely to be blamed in the development of OCD. Serotonin is the chemical which sends messages to brain cells and regulates almost everything from anxieties to memory and sleep.
A streptococcal infection may also cause OCD behavior among people. A streptococcal infection will cause your basal ganglia to get inflamed and become dysfunctional, resulting in rapid onset of OCD among children.
Over the course of the years, some other pathogens such as bacteria and viruses that cause Lyme disease and H1N1 have been associated with OCD in children.
While depression is not directly linked to OCD, it is sometimes thought to be one of the causes of the disorder. All experts have to make a split decision on whether they should include depression as a cause of obsessive-compulsive disorder or not because some experts argue that depression is an OCD symptom rather than a cause. Nonetheless, depression should best be avoided to free yourself from stressful conditions which may trigger the development of OCD.