Assuming too much responsibility could increase your chances of developing OCD and anxiety.

Researchers from Hiroshima University surveyed American college students about their feelings related to three types of responsibility: responsibility to prevent or avoid harm, responsibility for negative results, and responsibility to resolve a problem.

The team found that participants who felt strong feelings of responsibility were more likely to display behaviors of OCD or anxiety. Responsibility for negative results, and responsibility to resolve a problem had the most powerful association with these conditions.

Researchers say patients can reduce anxiety or obsessive behaviors by realizing their worries stem from this overwhelming sense of responsibility and actively working to diminish it.


Sugiura, Y., & Fisak, B. (2019, April 1). Inflated responsibility in worry and obsessive thinking. International Journal of Cognitive Therapy. Retrieved from