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What causes (obsessive compulsive disorder) OCD?

What causes (obsessive compulsive disorder) OCD?

While there is no known specific cause for OCD, family history and chemical imbalances in the brain are thought to contribute to the development of the illness. Generally, while people who have relatives with OCD are at a higher risk of developing the disorder, most people with the illness have no such family history. A specific chromosome/gene variation has been found to possibly double the likelihood of a person developing OCD. It is thought that an imbalance of the chemical serotonin in the brain may also contribute to the development of OCD.

How is OCD diagnosed?

In addition to looking for symptoms of obsessions and compulsions by conducting a mental-status examination, mental-health professionals will explore the possibility that the individual is suffering from another emotional illness instead of or in addition to OCD. The practitioner will also likely ensure that a physical examination and any other appropriate tests have been done recently to explore whether there is any medical problem that could be contributing to the signs of OCD.

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What happens if OCD is not treated?

Without treatment, the symptoms of OCD can progress to the point that the sufferer’s life becomes consumed, inhibiting their ability to keep a job and maintain important relationships. Many people with OCD have thoughts of killing themselves, and about 1% complete suicide.

In terms of the prognosis for the specific symptoms, it is rare for any to progress to a physically debilitating level. However, problems like compulsive hand washing can eventually cause skin to become dry and even to break down. Repeated trichotillomania can result in unsightly scabs on the person’s scalp.

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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder At A Glance
Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder characterized by irresistible thoughts or images (obsessions) and/or rigid rituals/behaviors that may be driven by obsessions (compulsions).
OCD occurs in about 2% of populations worldwide across cultures and has been known to the field of medicine for at least 100 years.
The average age of onset of OCD is 19 years, and it usually begins by the age of 30 years.
OCD sufferers are more likely than those who do not have the disorder to also suffer from other anxiety disorders.
While there is no known specific cause for OCD, presence of the illness in other family members and an imbalance of the brain chemical serotonin are thought to increase the likelihood of OCD developing.
OCD is diagnosed by the practitioner looking for signs and symptoms of this and other emotional problems, as well as ensuring that there is no medical condition that could be contributing to development of OCD.
OCD tends to respond most to a combination of behavior therapies (exposure and ritual prevention), group or individual cognitive behavioral therapy, and medications.
Although not as effective in treating OCD as clomiprmine, SSRIs are the group of medications that are most often used to treat this illness since the SSRIs tend to cause less side effects.
SSRIs are thought to work by increasing the activity of serotonin in the brain.
Although the symptoms of OCD may last indefinitely, its prognosis is best when the sufferer has milder symptoms that have been present for a short time, and the person has no other emotional problems.
Without treatment, OCD can worsen to the point that the sufferer has physical problems, becomes emotionally unable to function, or experiences suicidal thoughts. About 1% of OCD sufferers complete suicide

What causes OCD?

While there is no known specific cause for OCD, family history and chemical imbalances in the brain are thought to contribute to the development of the illness. Generally, while people who have relatives with OCD are at a higher risk of developing the disorder, most people with the illness have no such family history. A specific chromosome/gene variation has been found to possibly double the likelihood of a person developing OCD. It is thought that an imbalance of the chemical serotonin in the brain may also contribute to the development of OCD.

How is OCD diagnosed?

In addition to looking for symptoms of obsessions and compulsions by conducting a mental-status examination, mental-health professionals will explore the possibility that the individual is suffering from another emotional illness instead of or in addition to OCD. The practitioner will also likely ensure that a physical examination and any other appropriate tests have been done recently to explore whether there is any medical problem that could be contributing to the signs of OCD.

—————————————————————————-
What happens if OCD is not treated?

Without treatment, the symptoms of OCD can progress to the point that the sufferer’s life becomes consumed, inhibiting their ability to keep a job and maintain important relationships. Many people with OCD have thoughts of killing themselves, and about 1% complete suicide.

In terms of the prognosis for the specific symptoms, it is rare for any to progress to a physically debilitating level. However, problems like compulsive hand washing can eventually cause skin to become dry and even to break down. Repeated trichotillomania can result in unsightly scabs on the person’s scalp.

                                           ************

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder At A Glance
Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder characterized by irresistible thoughts or images (obsessions) and/or rigid rituals/behaviors that may be driven by obsessions (compulsions).
OCD occurs in about 2% of populations worldwide across cultures and has been known to the field of medicine for at least 100 years.
The average age of onset of OCD is 19 years, and it usually begins by the age of 30 years.
OCD sufferers are more likely than those who do not have the disorder to also suffer from other anxiety disorders.
While there is no known specific cause for OCD, presence of the illness in other family members and an imbalance of the brain chemical serotonin are thought to increase the likelihood of OCD developing.
OCD is diagnosed by the practitioner looking for signs and symptoms of this and other emotional problems, as well as ensuring that there is no medical condition that could be contributing to development of OCD.
OCD tends to respond most to a combination of behavior therapies (exposure and ritual prevention), group or individual cognitive behavioral therapy, and medications.
Although not as effective in treating OCD as clomiprmine, SSRIs are the group of medications that are most often used to treat this illness since the SSRIs tend to cause less side effects.
SSRIs are thought to work by increasing the activity of serotonin in the brain.
Although the symptoms of OCD may last indefinitely, its prognosis is best when the sufferer has milder symptoms that have been present for a short time, and the person has no other emotional problems.
Without treatment, OCD can worsen to the point that the sufferer has physical problems, becomes emotionally unable to function, or experiences suicidal thoughts. About 1% of OCD sufferers complete suicide

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