Diagram chart of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder .

Obsessive compulsive disorder is a mental health disorder that affects people of all ages and walks of life . It occurs when an individual gets caught in a cycle of obsessions and compulsions . It can be said that person with OCD are plagued by constant thoughts of fears that cause them to perform rituals or routines . The disturbing thoughts are called obsessions and rituals are called compulsions .

In simple words , OCD is a type of mental of disorder that causes repeated unwanted thoughts . To get rid of the unwanted thoughts , he/she performs the same task/activity again and again . For example, a person may fear that everything he/she touches has germs on it . So , to get rid of that fear he/she washes his/her hands again and again . Persons suffering from OCD might understand that their obsessions are unreasonable , but trying to stop or ignore them causes anxiety and stress . There are some symptoms of OCD , which may range from mild to severe . Some of the obsession and compulsions are mentioned below.

Main obsessions

  • A fear of harm to yourself or loved one .
  • A fear of contamination by germs .
  • A forceful or driving need to perform things perfectly or correctly .
  • Having excessive doubt on any individual .
  • A fear of being embarrassed .
  • A fear of getting dirty .
  • A fear of making mistakes.

Main compulsions

  • Repeating things or always moving items to keep them in exact order .
  • Bathing or washing hands several times.
  • Checking things over and over again.
  • Repeating specific words.
  • Hoarding .
  • Constant praying.

Causes of OCD

The exact cause of obsessive compulsive disorder is still unknown . Research studies suggest that there may be a problem with the way one part of the brain sends information to another part . Serotonin is the chemical in the brain that sends messages from one part to another . Insufficiency of serotonin may help in causing OCD . Stress and anxiety do not cause OCD but they may worsen the symptoms of OCD.

Recent studies have indicated that there may be considerable genetic basis for OCD. Depression is also thought to be the cause of OCD but the experts’ opinion is split .