04 Nov Have OCD? When your symptoms may intensify in your monthly cycle
If you have obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)—for instance, you wash your hands excessively, need to perform certain “rituals” (like knocking three times) or have the urge to align items on your desk in a specific way—where you are in your monthly cycle can play a part in its severity, according to a 2005 study in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry and a 2006 study in the journal International Clinical Psychopharmacology.
After examining women with OCD throughout their cycle, researchers discovered that compulsive behaviors were more pronounced for many women during their premenstrual week.
They also found OCD worsened for some women after giving birth and during menopause.
Their theory? The plunge in estrogen during each of these phases causes anxiety and/or the blues, which then triggers compulsive behaviors as a way to cope with or combat them. Another theory is that a drop in serotonin is behind the rise in OCD behaviors.
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