What Does Not Cause OCD

People who have OCD did not do anything to cause it. And it isn’t caused by the way parents raise their children. OCD is a neurobiological disorder — not a condition that is caused by action or inaction.

Here are some common misperceptions about the causes of OCD:

For Best Results

To get the most from your OCD therapy:

  • Attend all of your therapy sessions; don’t give in to the temptation of cancelling.
  • Be completely open and honest with your therapist; nothing is too terrible to tell your therapist.
  • Do your homework between sessions.
  • Give your therapist feedback about your progress.
  • Keep going — even when it’s hard — to achieve the relief you deserve.

Learning to manage your OCD symptoms can be challenging, just like reaching any meaningful goal.

OCD Support Group


This is a G.O.A.L support group. The main objective of this group is to help each member develop self-help skills in an atmosphere that offers emotional and practical support. Meetings are free of charge. Open to all adults who suffer from OCD.

Meetings are not open for family members or friends to attend.

What’s Normal and What’s Not?

Everybody worries at times. It’s normal to worry about things like school, how you look, what you said or did in a certain situation, how your parents will react to something you did, or what the future will bring. But OCD takes worries and doubts to the extreme.

For example, most people have thoughts about others spreading germs or doubts about whether they locked their front door. Usually these thoughts crop up and then disappear. But if they keep returning and cause you a lot of anxiety if you don’t wash your hands or repeatedly check the front door, it could be OCD.

Treatments for OCD

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a treatment for OCD that uses two scientifically based techniques to change a person’s behavior and thoughts: exposure and response prevention (ERP) and cognitive therapy. CBT is conducted by a cognitive-behavioral therapist who has special training in treating OCD.

Just For Teens

So You Have OCD. Now What?

Having obsessive-compulsive disorder isn’t the end of the world. Of course you’d rather not have it, but just like asthma, diabetes, and other medical conditions, there is a treatment. You will be able to live with OCD and manage its symptoms. Just give yourself a little time to learn about this disorder and keep it under control.

OCD Facts

Dr. Elspeth Bell, a licensed psychologist at the Behavior Therapy Center of Greater Washington, speaks on behalf of the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. She describes the mental illness OCD, which stands for obsessive-compulsive disorder. OCD is a serious and often debilitating chronic anxiety disorder that causes people to have unwanted and intrusive thoughts, or obsessions. To try to ease their anxiety or distress, people with OCD often repeatedly perform ritualistic behaviors and routines, called compulsions.