Many individuals that have directly or indirectly experienced obsessive-compulsive disorder have wondered about the cause of the anxiety based mental disorder. While doctors that focus on research, general health, mental health, and neurology have spent countless hours examining the condition and trying to determine the exact cause of this mental illness, their attempts have not been successful.

No one cause has actually been identified. However, there are many theories that seem to hold credibility. In this guide on obsessive-compulsive disorder, you will be introduced to these theories.

Serotonin Levels

There is a chemical in the brain that is responsible for directing messages from one part of the body to another part of the body. This chemical is called serotonin. Individuals that have obsessive-compulsive disorder have been tested and studied at depth and it has been discovered that most all patients appear to have less serotonin than those that do not have this mental illness.

It is not known why the body does not produce enough serotonin among patients, but there are many medications on the market today that will synthetically induct serotonin levels so that the patient suffers from the symptoms of OCD less.

Environmental Culprits

Many individuals that are professionals in the health field have determined that there are many environmental factors that may lead to the onset of obsessive-compulsive disorder. Many of the repetitive behaviors that are experienced by sufferers may have been learned through their lifetime.

For many, stress, disorganization, sickness, and other complications could ignite the symptoms that are common to obsessive-compulsive disorder. Professionals that are unable to identify a genetic link or low serotonin levels in the brain typically lean towards the fact that an environmental culprit has contributed to the sunset of the condition.


Many medical professionals believe that OCD may be passed down from one family member to another family member. Unfortunately, these professionals have not been able to specifically identify any particular gene or set of genes that are directly responsible for the sunset of this condition.

In addition to genetics, it is believed that for one reason or another, the standard chemical makeup of the sufferer may change over time. As a result of this change, the symptoms associated with this mental illness become more evident.


As you can see from the information contained in this guide, there are many potential reasons why obsessive-compulsive disorder may be experienced, but there is no one exact cause that has been specified to date.

OCD is a challenging condition that has the capacity of turning into a potentially disabling condition. If you or a loved one is issued a diagnosis, it is not as important to focus on the cause as it is the resolution – at least for the symptoms that plague the sufferer. It is important to work closely with a doctor on a treatment plan that is appropriate for the severity of the condition.