Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is officially categorized as a mental disorder that is exemplified by recurring symptoms of persistent and intrusive thoughts that are deemed unwanted and often even senseless. These persistent thoughts reach the point of obsession and compulsion, meaning that the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder sufferer cannot stop himself from engaging in ritualistic activities regardless of the desire to control them.
Many children will develop OCD early, starting between ages seven and 12. In fact, most adults with OCD say their symptoms started when they were children. OCD is more common in boys before the age of 12. After puberty, boys and girls are equally likely to develop OCD. Over time, OCD symptoms can change. For example, your child might start out with excessive washing compulsions when he or she is young, but later develop excessive checking compulsions and stop washing in a compulsive manner.
The onset of OCD usually occurs during the period characterized as young adulthood. The obsessions associated with the disorder are often fixated on such effects as inflicting harm upon another person or creature, dealing with failures in one’s personal life, or sexuality. Very often those who must deal with obsessions and compulsions over which they have no control begin to feel as they might be slipping into insanity. The compulsions can be wide-ranging, but almost all are typically situated within the psyche as a means to relieve anxiety.
OCD is often described as an exaggeration of the quite common ability of the human mind to force one to obsess upon a single idea. For instance, who hasn’t found themselves absently humming the same tune over and again in an almost compulsive manner? The difference between the normality of obsessive and compulsive desires like these is that when the average person become aware of the act they are capable of stopping themselves. The sufferers of obsessive compulsive disorder, by contrast, cannot. Though designated as a mental disorder, current research indicates that the cause of OCD is neurobiological. Neurons in the brain of those who suffer from OCD have been discovered to have a high sensitivity to serotonin. Serotonin is a chemical that assists in the transmission of signals to the brain. Further research indicates that the trigger of OCD may be the onset of puberty, the effect of mental stress, and possibly even a genetic predisposition toward the development of the diseases.