Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is an anxiety disorder that is characterised by obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviour.
Obsessive thoughts are intrusive, irrational thoughts – unwanted ideas or impulses that repeatedly appear in a person’s mind. An example is that his/her hands are always dirty. A person suffering from obsessive thoughts typically has some insight that their thoughts are irrational. But at the same time, they also fear that these thoughts may be true, and causes great anxiety. As a result, they may resort to repetitive behaviour or ritual to alleviate their anxiety. This is known as compulsive behaviour. For example, the person mentioned above would resort to the repeated washing of hands, and may take up more than an hour doing so.
How does Obsessive Compulsive Disorder develop?
Current hypothesis of causes of OCD include a dysfunction in the frontal region and deeper regions of the brain. These connections regulates functions such as aggression and sexuality. Furthermore, genetics study have linked serotonin transporter with OCD.
Read more about OCD here.