OCD Symptoms, Causes and Treatments

OCD: Learn About OCD Symptoms, Causes and Treatments

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a popularly known anxiety disorder that affects people from every age category and causes significant interference with their regular life. This severe mental disorder is diagnosed by recurrence of thoughts (Obsession) & repetition of behaviors (Compulsion). Here, a patient engages in different unwanted & pointless thinking, leading to an excessive amount of stress or anxiety. And to combat such unnecessary thoughts, the patient performs some particular actions repetitively. These unwanted thoughts are primarily known as Obsession, causing fear and anxiety. And those repetitive actions are called compulsions, reactions to those thoughts and anxieties. Hence, we can say it’s a cycle of unwanted & recurring thoughts and repetitive & unnecessary behaviors.  In this article, we will explore OCD in more detail. Here, we will educate you about the OCD symptoms, its causes, and the treatments. Give this article a read to gain more insights about this severe mental illness.

OCD Symptoms

People with OCD often lose their entire control over thoughts and behaviors, leading to some common noticeable symptoms. These common symptoms include:

  • Excessive fear or tension regarding some particular actions, leading to recurrence of those particular behaviors.
  • Extreme consciousness
  • Endless requirements for reassurance
  • An excessive need for cleanliness and perfection
  • Placing or organizing things in a very particular manner.
  • Frequently checking things such as bags, doors, kitchen area
  • Saying a few specific words repeatedly
  • Constant need for validation
  • Frequently checking whether the switches are off or not.

If you are experiencing any of these above-listed OCD symptoms for an extended period, you must consider visiting a mental health professional.

Causes of OCD

There are various triggering factors of OCD. Although researchers haven’t found the root causes of OCD, they have still discovered some common causes that might trigger OCD at some point in life. These causes are:


Few study reports have shown that people with a strong family history of OCD often end up getting diagnosed with OCD at a certain point in life. Furthermore, researchers have stated that this hereditary influence becomes more intense if someone’s biological parents or siblings are diagnosed with OCD during their teenage period.

Traumatic Past Experiences

Specific traumatic experiences often contribute to those visible OCD symptoms, triggering various illogical behaviors repetitively. Researchers have stated that the traumatic history of childhood abuse usually creates intense fear in people, making them worried about their life choices.

Imbalances in Neurotransmitters

A few neurotransmitters like Serotonin, Dopamine and Norepinephrine have significant contributions in triggering severe anxiety disorders like OCD, Social Anxiety disorder and more. Any imbalances in these neurotransmitters often change brain functions and lead to persistent mental issues like OCD.

Changes in Brain Structures

It might sound surprising, but researchers have indeed found a significant difference in the brain structures of OCD patients. The researchers have proved that OCD patients have a differently structured front cortex. Such surprising changes in brain structure are considered one of the significant causes of OCD.

Treatments of OCD

According to the survey reports, 55% of OCD patients achieve a recovery by incorporating some healthy lifestyle changes. Adopting some holistic lifestyle changes can reduce anxiety levels and help you gain proper control over your thoughts and behaviors. Fortunately, some other effective treatments can offer long-term relief from OCD symptoms.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, popularly known as CBT, reduces stress levels and recurrences of illogical behaviors. Here, the therapist aims to confront the OCD patient about the fear-triggering situations. This therapy helps the patient to achieve more control over thoughts and behaviors. By incorporating a few sessions of CBT, one can experience significant positive changes in their thoughts and behaviors.

Regular Exercises

Most of us are aware of the benefits of regular exercise, including anxiety reduction. Cardio exercise and strength training can trigger the stimulation of happy hormones like serotonin, dopamine, glutamate and endorphins. Also, joining morning yoga classes significantly improves women’s mental health. However, one needs to remain persistent about these healthy lifestyle choices.


Few medicines like serotonin reuptake inhibitors and Antidepressants can help reduce the intensity of OCD, gradually releasing the stress and frequency of repetitive behaviors. Antidepressant medicines work best in increasing the stimulation of serotonin, offering noticeable improvements with time. To get the best results, your mental health professional might combine these medicines with a few sessions of therapy. Some other groups of drugs, like tricyclic or antipsychotics, might work well in reducing the severity of OCD. However, these medicines should be taken under the doctor’s preservations. Also, using these medicines for a longer time might cause dependency and other side effects.


People with excessive recurrence of thoughts and behaviors must practice mindfulness daily. Mindfulness works as a positive distraction. It helps you stop worrying about the future and encourages you to put all your focus on the present moments. Persistent mindfulness practices improve your mental state, offer tranquility and self-control and reduce the frequency of repetitive behaviors.


Some suppressed inner thoughts often trigger abnormal behaviors. These thoughts are labeled as unconscious thoughts, constantly triggering the same old behaviors and making things out of your control. Psychotherapy aims to resolve those inner thoughts. It helps in identifying those abnormal thoughts constantly triggering fear and anxiety in you. However, psychotherapy often takes a lot of time to produce the desirable result. Hence, you have to attend all the sessions mindfully.

Talk Therapy

Talk therapy involves a set of sessions where the patient gets to talk about their feelings, worries, fears and insecurities without being bothered by judgments. This talk therapy aims to treat OCD symptoms from their roots. Here, the therapist tries to treat the abnormal pattern of thinking and the reoccurrence of certain behaviors.


Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is a life-altering mental illness that directly or indirectly impacts our life’s quality. Luckily, this disorder is easy to diagnose. An early diagnosis of this disorder often cures the problem quickly. You can achieve an OCD-free, healthy life by identifying the symptoms, discovering the causes and exploring some effective treatment options. Also, don’t hesitate to seek help from mental health professionals. Remember, you are not alone in this battle.