Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a type of anxiety disorder, which is a category of mental illnesses that present with irrational or unusual levels of fear or worry. OCD is a chronic condition that causes uncontrollable and recurring thoughts called obsessions, along with compulsive behaviors the patient feels must be repeated. Each presentation of obsessive-compulsive disorder is different. The precise nature of the compulsions and obsessions is unique. The most well-known manifestation includes cleaning and fear of germs, but OCD often manifests in other ways.
There are several common causes of contributing factors to the development of obsessive-compulsive disorder. Get familiar with them now.
Certain Brain Abnormalities
Certain brain abnormalities have been identified in individuals who have obsessive-compulsive disorder. Not everyone with this condition has the abnormalities, and not every person with the abnormalities has OCD. However, there’s a marked correlation between them. The research was done by comparing hundreds of different brain scans, and researchers believe the processes and areas of the brain they’ve identified play a role in the repetitive compulsions that are part of obsessive-compulsive disorder. The study indicates OCD patients can sometimes get stuck in a repetitive cognitive loop that keeps them from stopping the behaviors even when they cause distress. In these patients, the brain has a disproportionately large response to errors, and a disproportionately small response to stop signals. Errors are cognitive processing issues or irrational thoughts. A person without obsessive-compulsive disorder can use ‘stop’ signals to stop an irrational or intrusive thought from repeating. But someone with this disorder can’t stop obsessing over the error, even if they’re aware the behavior is irrational and causing distress.
Read more about what can trigger the development of obsessive-compulsive disorder now.