Obsessive-compulsive disorder is a fairly common condition. In the United States, around 1 in every 100 adults has OCD. Globally, it is estimated that about 1.1% – 1.8% of the population deals with OCD. If you or someone you know struggles with this condition, you may have wondered what the exact causes are.

With a 30+ year career in Cognitive Science Research, Dr. Ileana Berman focuses on the connection between obsessive-compulsive disorder and schizophrenia. Let’s take a look at some of the causes of OCD.

Scientists are still unsure of the exact cause of OCD, but there is a combination of environmental and genetic factors to be aware of:

  • Abnormalities of the neurotransmitters in the brain.
  • Family history of obsessive-compulsive disorder, especially if symptoms appear as a child.
  • Low levels of serotonin.
  • Going through traumatic life experiences.
  • Other health conditions can be comorbid with OCD, such as depression, anxiety, substance abuse, etc.
  • Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder Associated with Streptococcus can cause a sudden onset of OCD symptoms in children.