Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) as a mental illness has a prevalence rate from 2 to 3 percent. However, people who are suffering from OCD avoid seeking treatment. OCD disrupts a person’s everyday lifestyle with experiences of obsessions and compulsions.
Some of the most common obsessions related to OCD are fear of being contaminated and fear of losing control. This leads to compulsive actions like washing oneself frequently and maintaining a strict routine to keep control.
People often consider OCD as a compulsive habit and ignore it as a mental disorder because of the distressing social perceptions about mental health.
Scientists have claimed that OCD changes the brain functions of the people who suffer from it, their brains differently respond to the neurotransmitters, dopamine, and serotonin. OCD is not a mere behavioral issue, it is a disorder that causes major problems in a person’s daily life.
What Causes OCD?
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) does not have a specific cause but some theories suggest different causes of OCD.
As per different mental researches, OCD can be caused by certain faulty circuitry in the brain. Brain imaging and brain scan can help find out the differences in brain activity between sufferers and non-sufferers. Certain parts of the brain of an OCD sufferer get activated in situations of distress.
OCD can also be triggered by various infections as they tend to create antibodies in the blood which leads to the development of OCD as an autoimmune defense mechanism of the body to fight the infection.
Several studies have claimed that the occurrence of OCD in a person can have a genealogical cause. For example, a meta-analytical report commissioned in 2001 claimed that the probability of getting OCD to the person increases if someone in the family already has OCD. However, genetic explanations for OCD’s source should not lead to negligence towards getting OCD Treatment.
One of the main causes of OCD can be traced to the specific cognitive function of the brain that makes the sufferer take certain thoughts seriously and are compelled to act on them to avoid catastrophic consequences. This develops in the brain a pattern of compulsive counteractions against the extremely distressing obsessive thoughts.
Cognitive Behavior Therapy is a proven treatment method for OCD, as it urges the sufferers to face their obsessive actions rather than giving in to compulsive reactions. This helps in dealing with anxiety and leads to the ultimate decay of it and cures the sufferer of OCD.
Another main factor that causes OCD can be the events that happen in a person’s life since childhood. Traumatic past experiences or being a witness to something catastrophic can often lead to suppressed fears that make the person adopt certain compulsive behaviors to avoid that specific experience from occurring again.
But no evidence proves traumatic stress as a cause of OCD, however, it has been proven that it can lead to the onset of OCD as a trigger. The above-mentioned causes are some of the prevalent reasons that are seen as potential causes of OCD. Buts no evidence proves any of these as a definitive cause. However, collectively all these can lead to the onset of OCD. Although OCD is chronic in most cases, it is treatable.