There are many risk factors that may increase the likelihood that an individual develops the anxiety based disorder identified as obsessive-compulsive disorder. Medical professionals that specialize in the field of neurology, psychiatry, psychology, and general medicine have yet to determine the exact cause of this mental health disorder, but they have developed many theories that seem to express some potential triggers for the sunset of the disorder as a whole. In this mental health guide, you will learn about the obsessive-compulsive disorder risk factors.

Basic Statistics

Before delving into the world of theories surrounding this perplex mental health condition, it is important to learn about some basic statistics. In the United States, it has been established that approximately one quarter of the population experiences mild to severe anxiety at least once in their lifetime.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder is considered to be a type of anxiety – or an anxiety disorder. While the prevalence of disorders that are considered to be anxiety based is much lower than one quarter of the nation's rate on experiencing standard anxiety, it has been established by mental health professionals that anxiety disorders are more common than other type of psychiatric condition.


It has been established that anxiety disorders are quite common among those that come from a family where other individuals suffer from the same type of disorder. Medical professionals do not feel as if genetics alone will lead to the onset of obsessive-compulsive disorder.

It is believed that genetic correlates with other risk factors in order to initialize this mental health disorder among patients. Doctors have not been able to identify particular genes that link to this disorder specifically. This is mostly due to the fact that nearly all patients have the potential to have developed this condition as a result of behaviors that they have learned through their lifetime.


A person's individual personality may result in the onset of OCD. Individuals that are unable to react in a productive manner to stress, those that have a low tolerance for uncertainty or ambiguity, and those that seem to be hypersensitive when it comes to the mood and the emotion are more likely to experience obsessive-compulsive disorder than those that have other types of personalities. This is why many doctors elect to prescribe both prescription medication therapy and cognitive behavior therapy.

Biochemical Imbalances

Many that develop obsessive-compulsive disorder have been tested for biochemical imbalances. In almost all case studies, patients displayed inconsistencies when it comes to the levels of nutrients, minerals, and hormones within the body. One of the main consistencies is that those with OCD tend to have lower levels of serotonin in their body.

Many doctors will prescribe medications that will naturally boost the serotonin levels in the body. If you have obsessive-compulsive disorder, you should be aware of the culprits of the condition as well as what you are able to do to overcome the challenges you will experience over the course of your lifetime.