A common misconception in the media and general public is that poor parenting or eccentric quirky preferences on the part of some individuals are the causes of OCD. While some aspects of OCD do involve learned behavior, it is becoming increasingly clear that OCD has strong biological and genetic influences.
“You are so OCD!” is a fairly common phrase these days. When I hear someone use it, though I cringe a little inside, I rarely have the feeling that this is a deliberate attempt to make light of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).
Can infections result in mental illness? Dr. Thomas Insel, Director of the National Institutes of Mental Health, commented in his blog over a year ago: "The increasing evidence linking strep infection to OCD in children suggests that microbiomics may prove an important research area for understanding and treating mental disorders."
In May 2011 I had an opportunity to co-lead a training on Anxiety Disorders in Shanghai, China. While there I interviewed two of the leading mental health specialists in China: Dr. Xu Yong, Director of Education and Training at the Shanghai Mental Health Center; and Dr. Jianping Wang, Professor at the school of psychology at Beijing Normal University.