CausesBy Mayo Clinic staff
The cause of obsessive-compulsive disorder isn't fully understood. Main theories include:
- Biology. OCD may be a result of changes in your body's own natural chemistry or brain functions. OCD also may have a genetic component, but specific genes have yet to be identified.
- Environment. OCD may stem from behavior-related habits that you learned over time.
- Insufficient serotonin. An insufficient level of serotonin, one of your brain's chemical messengers, may contribute to obsessive-compulsive disorder. In addition, people with obsessive-compulsive disorder who take medications that improve the action of serotonin often have fewer OCD symptoms.
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