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What causes obsessive-compulsive disorder?

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Doctors aren’t sure why some people have OCD. Certain areas in the brain may not look normal in people with OCD, but more research is needed. There may be a gene or genes linked to OCD, but this is still unknown.

You are more likely to get the disorder if you have:

  • A parent, sibling, or child with OCD
  • Depression, anxiety or tics
  • Experience with trauma
  • A history of physical or sexual abuse as a child

From: Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Neha Pathak on February 12, 2018

Medically Reviewed on 2/12/2018

SOURCES:

National Institute of Mental Health: “Obsessive-compulsive disorder: When unwanted thoughts or irresistible actions take over” and “Obsessive-compulsive disorder.”

Mayo Clinic: “Obsessive-compulsive disorder: Symptoms & Causes;” “Obsessive-compulsive disorder: Diagnosis & treatment;” and “Cognitive behavioral therapy.” 

American Psychiatric Association: “What is obsessive-compulsive disorder?”

International OCD Foundation: “What is OCD?”  

NYU Langone Child Study Center: “Habit reversal therapy: An approach to managing repetitive behavior disorders.”

OCD-UK: “The Different Types of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.”

Reviewed by Neha Pathak on February 12, 2018

SOURCES:

National Institute of Mental Health: “Obsessive-compulsive disorder: When unwanted thoughts or irresistible actions take over” and “Obsessive-compulsive disorder.”

Mayo Clinic: “Obsessive-compulsive disorder: Symptoms & Causes;” “Obsessive-compulsive disorder: Diagnosis & treatment;” and “Cognitive behavioral therapy.” 

American Psychiatric Association: “What is obsessive-compulsive disorder?”

International OCD Foundation: “What is OCD?”  

NYU Langone Child Study Center: “Habit reversal therapy: An approach to managing repetitive behavior disorders.”

OCD-UK: “The Different Types of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.”

Reviewed by Neha Pathak on February 12, 2018

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How is obsessive-compulsive disorder diagnosed?

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