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What causes OCD?

We don’t really know! It can often start, even on just a small scale, from 9 years up.  If you are a parent, you may notice your child start doing odd things that they get upset about if they are interrupted or are stopped. 


You may remember that yourself from your childhood if you are experiencing OCD. 

In OCD you will be doing compulsions to temporarily reduce your anxiety along with probably avoiding certain things.  This has given you an “evidence base” that it appears to help, even though you know it doesn’t.   But as it does work on some level, you have bought into it and now find it impossible to stop as the anxiety of not doing what OCD says is too much to cope with


People with OCD often believe that they can influence and prevent bad things happening, we call that an ‘overinflated sense of responsibility’.  There is often a sense of having “magical” powers, in that, thoughts can come true and then trying to avoid that happening by doing what OCD may tell you.  You will be seeking certainty in an uncertain world, as the anxiety of not knowing what may happen next is too much to cope with.  People with OCD often experience being called a “control freak”.  But it is not about that, it is just about trying to feel safe and keep others safe.  It is a result of fear.

There is also the possibility that families may have a genetic predisposition to anxiety or children learn OCD, unintentionally, as the way to manage anxiety from other family members.  Stressors in life can also start OCD off.   Once OCD has begun, the brain struggles to regulate.

What causes OCD wooden question marks. Jane Watkins is a specialist in treating OCD online using Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) for OCD, along with CFT and ACT.
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