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Home :: Neurology Disorders

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder - Causes, Symptoms and Treatment


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Compulsions are the behaviors, or actions, that someone with OCD does to try to shut down the worry thoughts. There are many other possible symptoms. Symptoms usually begin in individuals aged 10-24 years. Childhood-onset OCD may have a higher rate of comorbidity with Tourette syndrome and ADHD. Most OCD sufferers are aware that such thoughts and behavior are not rational , but feel bound to comply with them to fend off feelings of panic or dread. OCD communication between the front part of the brain and deeper structures is faulty. Serotonin is the major chemical messenger involved in this area, and insufficient levels are thought to play an important part in OCD. OCD is different from behaviors such as gambling addiction and overeating. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder tends to be slightly more common in females than in males. Many as 3 million Americans ages 18 to 54 may have OCD at any one time. This is about 2.3% of the people in this age group. OCD is typically treated with Behavioral therapy , Cognitive therapy , medications , or any combination of the three. Psychodynamic psychotherapy may help in managing some aspects of the disorder, but it is not commonly a primary intervention. CBT helps people to learn to use the power of their own behavior to change their thoughts and feelings for the better.

Causes of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Common Causes and Risk factors of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

  • Infection.
  • Environment.
  • Strep throat.
  • Interpersonal relationships
  • Stress.
  • Genetic factors.
  • Neurotransmitter serotonin.

Signs and Symptoms of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Common Sign and Symptoms of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

  • Dermatitis.
  • Skin lesions.
  • Rigidity and stubbornness.
  • Lack of generosity.
  • Fear of being contaminated by shaking hands.
  • Impulses to shout obscenities in inappropriate situations.
  • Hair loss or bald spots because of hair pulling.

Treatment for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Common Treatment for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

  • OCD usually responds well to treatment with certain medications. Several medicines are available to treat OCD. These medicines include: clomipramine (brand name: Anafranil), fluoxetine (brand name: Prozac), sertraline (brand name: Zoloft), paroxetine (brand name: Paxil) and fluvoxamine (brand name: Luvox).
  • Antidepressants may be helpful for OCD because they may help increase levels of serotonin, which may be deficient in OCD.
  • OCD is typically treated with Behavioral therapy (BT).
  • Cognitive therapy (CT)- Cognitive behavior therapy involves retraining your thought patterns and routines so that compulsive behaviors are no longer necessary.
  • Group therapy is a less time consuming procedure in which usually 8-10 people can be treated at one time.
  • Neurosurgical treatment of OCD is also useful.