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What may cause OCD?

The exact cause of OCD is not known, but most researchers believe that it is caused at least in part by an chemical imbalance of an inportant chemical in the brain called serotonin that acts as a messenger between nerve cells. Studies of twins and famils also show that there may be a genetic or inherited factor to OCD. In other words, if someone in your immediate family has OCD, you may be more likely to be affected yourself.

Many people report that obsessive and/or compulsive symptoms began slowly and gradually during their childhood or teenage years and became worse as time went on. Most cases of OCD are first diagnosed during the teenage years or early adulthood. The average age when the disorder first appears is around 19 years of age. Ocd affects adult men and women the same.

For most people, OCD fallows a chronic course of ups and downs, meaning that there will be flar-ups of symptoms fallowed by periods of reduced symptoms. Flare-ups of symptoms often occure at stressful times.