OCD affects individuals from all races, religions, and ethnic groups. Onset of the disorder ranges from ages 11 to 18. Boys tend to develop symptoms earlier than girls. Of the children who are diagnosed with OCD, most will experience contamination obsessions. Adults are more likely to experience so called “bad thoughts” OCD, i.e. religious, sexual, harm and aggressive obsessions.
OCD is equally common in men and women. Symptoms may come-and-go, change in form, or spontaneuosly remit. They may be triggered by trauma, rapid change, illness, loss, developmental and hormonal changes, or in reaction to a life experience. OCD is considered a lifelong disorder.
No one knows exactly why a person develops certain obsessions. It has been suggested, however, that life experience and what one cares or feels passionate about may be a contributing factor.