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  • What Causes OCD to Flare Up?

    You’ve probably heard of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), a condition that causes someone to have recurring, unwanted thoughts and urges (obsessions) and/or repetitively perform certain actions (compulsions). But did you know that certain things can cause OCD symptoms to worsen? Here are four potential causes of OCD flare-ups:

    1. Stress and anxiety – When someone with OCD is feeling more stressed or anxious than normal, they may have a stronger urge to perform certain rituals as a means of relieving that discomfort. This is the most common cause of OCD flare-ups.
    2. Insomnia – A lack of sleep can increase stress levels, which can in turn lead to more intense OCD symptoms.
    3. Menstruation – Because hormones can affect OCD, a woman’s menstrual cycle can sometimes cause her OCD symptoms to vary in intensity. Some studies suggest that increased progesterone levels can cause OCD flare-ups to occur during the luteal (premenstrual) phase.
    4. Pregnancy and childbirth – Many mothers with OCD report that their symptoms worsened while they were pregnant and during the postpartum period. Studies suggest that this may have to do with hormones or the stress commonly associated with childbirth. Notably, in some cases, pregnancy and childbirth can cause someone who’s never had OCD before to develop the disorder (this is referred to as “perinatal OCD” or “postpartum OCD”).

    Do You Need Help With OCD Flare-Ups?

    If you’ve been diagnosed with OCD and you’re struggling to manage flare-ups—or if you’ve never received a diagnosis but you think you might have OCD—we can help. Our team has extensive experience treating OCD, and once we’ve learned about the issues you’re having, we can provide you with personalized recommendations to help manage your flare-ups and improve your quality of life. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.