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How Does OCD Affect The Body & What Triggers It?

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental health syndrome that influences individuals of all ages and walks of life and develops when an individual gets trapped in a phase of obsessions and compulsions. It equally influences males, females, and kids of all races, backgrounds and cultural environments.

In the United States, about 1 in 40 adults and 1 in 100 kids have Obsessive Compulsion Disorder. Some persons with slight to moderate OCD warning signs learn to exist with the difficulties of their obsessive thinking models or compulsive behaviors.

How Does OCD Affect The Body?

Chronic daily headaches are one of the ways OCD may affect the body. According to the World Health Organization, OCD is regarded as the fifth leading factor of distress illness for females aged 14-45 in the developed universe. OCD can be very chronic that it can severely affect on certain parts of an individual’s life, often troublesome or entirely damaging:

Education – OCD can cause low school performance as kids may find it challenging to focus on learning due to the extent of attention centered on their obsessions and compulsions

Employment- It affects the person’s ability to function well both on performance level as well as productivity in the workplace.1

Career Development – it has been constantly found that individuals with OCD show discrepancies in non-verbal, optical or special remembrance. However, some OCD sufferers are highly intelligent and highly functional but suffer in silence and keep their OCD a secret.

Relationships With Friends And Families- OCD can make it difficult to establish and retain personal relationships. This may have a major adverse influence on social relationships resulting in repeated family and nuptial conflict or displeasure, estrangement or divorce.2,3

OCD sufferers are generally humiliated about their symptoms and will put sincere attempt into hiding them. Before the condition is diagnosed and cured, your loved ones may become deeply embroiled in the sufferer’s habits, resulting in pain and misery to family members. But what causes this condition?

What Triggers Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder?

Most people get random thoughts however they may be able to dismiss their consciousness and move on. Obsessions and compulsions are just like junk mails in the brain, a person who dismisses the junk mails overcomes the condition however for OCD sufferers the spam filter stops working and the junk mails keep coming in.

Several studies were conducted to determine the underlying cause of the condition. The study shows that OCD commences in childhood and the ratio of boys is higher than girls getting impacted with this disorder.4 This condition is triggered by several factors that include

Genetic Causes: A study funded by the National Institutes of Health stated that genetics contributes approximately 45-65% of the risk for developing the disorder. Having a close blood relative with OCD may enhance the likelihood of someone acquiring it.

Autoimmune Causes: Lately, there has been growing attention in a potential association between streptococcal diseases and the progress of OCD. It has been advised that OCD in some vulnerable people may be triggered by an autoimmune reaction to streptococcal diseases

Cognitive Causes: OCD is often associated with cognitive disorders. Cognitive distortions are aspects of imagining undesirably thoughts the manner in which we see the world, ourselves and others. OCD patients regard their thoughts as the most harmful and can cause serious consequences.

Neurological Causes: Changes in the neurochemical substances are likely to present in OCD and perhaps a major triggering factor of OCD

Environmental Causes: Environmental factors that have been blamed for causing OCD. This could be after a stressful event like getting infected with a communicable disease as a result of contamination.5,6


  1. OCD Symptoms & Common Side-Effects https://www.timberlineknolls.com/mood-personality/ocd/signs-effects/
  2. Obsessive-compulsive disorder: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000929.htm
  3. The Impact of OCD | OCD-UK https://www.ocduk.org/ocd/impact-of-ocd/
  4. Obsessive compulsive disorder – Better Health Channel https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/obsessive-compulsive-disorder
  5. What Causes Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)? – Beyond OCD http://beyondocd.org/ocd-facts/what-causes-ocd
  6. What is obsessive-compulsive disorder? https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/178508.php

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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:January 13, 2020

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