Most people have heard about Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and a lot of residents experience it. The symptoms usually begin gradually and vary throughout life.
To put it in easily understood terms, OCD is a type of anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders include panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Symptoms include stress that’s out of proportion to the impact of the event, inability to set aside a worry, and restlessness.
OCD is characterised by unreasonable thoughts and fears (obsessions) that lead to compulsive behaviour. OCD often centres on themes such as a fear of germs or the need to arrange objects in a specific manner.
There are many obsessions people may experience, but one of the most known is repeated hand-washing. The disorder can drive people to wash their hands repeatedly to satisfy the idea in their mind that tells them maybe they have still not got rid of all those threatening germs.
But what causes OCD? There are three main sources – genetics, brain structure and environment.
The disorder can be inherited, and pass from one generation to the next – and is the result of the structure of the person’s genes.
Brain structure has been narrowed down to differences that have been found in the frontal cortex of the brains of OCD and non-OCD test subjects that might point to specific areas of the brain that are affected.
Environmental causes relate to something that one has experienced, such as physical, sexual, or emotional abuse at a young age.
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