What are the primary causes of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)?
Neuroimaging technologies reveal what parts of the brain function differently in OCD individuals. Abnormalities in neurotransmitter systems, including chemicals like dopamine, glutamate, and serotonin responsible for sending messages between brain cells can also lead to this disorder. However, even though OCD is known to have a neurological basis, the primary cause of OCD is yet to be identified. OCD is possibly a mix of genetic, cognitive, behavioral, neurobiological, and environmental factors that trigger the problem in certain individuals at a specific point in time. A study of the possible causes and risk factors associated with OCD revealed that it is connected to an unusual mutation of hSERT (human serotonin transporter gene). If someone is experiencing severe symptoms, they may have a second variation present in the same gene. Genetic components have been found as well since nearly 25 percent of OCD patients have an immediate family member with this condition. Behavioral conditioning is believed to contribute to the maintenance and development of compulsions and obsessions in teenagers and adults. Specifically, compulsions are thought to be learned responses that assist an individual in preventing discomfort or anxiety connected with urges and obsessions. People with OCD may also suffer from dysfunctional or faulty beliefs that result in the creation of compulsions and obsessions. Since the obsessions are distressing in nature, the patient engages in obsessive behavior to block, resist, or neutralize them. OCD is also related to environmental factors, like traumatic brain injuries. Other environmental factors like parenting styles and stress may also induce OCD in patients.
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