What causes Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or OCD?
As with other anxiety disorders, the causes of obsessive compulsive disorder are multi-factorial, consisting of an interaction of genetic, congenital, learning and social factors.
What are the common symptoms of OCD or obsessive compulsive disorder?
People with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) typically present with:
Obsessions: pictures, ideas, and impulses invading repeatedly the mental field, which the individual recognizes as issued from their own mental activity and causing in them distress; The individual feels personally responsible for these obsessions and for preventing them from happening.
Compulsions: repetitive ritualistic behavior, which can be considered as abnormal by the individual but temporarily reduces anxiety;
An example would be an obsession of having dirty hands, which is followed by a ritual of washing the hands: these symptoms occur at an unreasonable rate in a given day, without the hands being objectively dirty.
When a person has somatic or hypochondriacal concern, for example this may be a fear of stomach cancer (obsession) which is checked with gastroscopy (compulsion).