Obsessive and Compulsive Behaviors
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) involves repetitive obsessions and/or compulsions that are very time-consuming and/or cause a lot of distress or disruption to one’s daily life. The person usually realizes that the obsessions and compulsions are excessive. Obsessions are thoughts, images or impulses that come into one’s mind and are distressing or difficult to ignore.
Common obsessions include thoughts about contamination, doubts about having turned off appliances or locked doors, and the urge to do certain things in a certain order. Compulsions are behaviors that are performed over and over again in order to reduce feelings of anxiety or discomfort. For example, a common compulsion is repeated hand-washing which is often done in order to ward off excessive anxiety about germs. People with OCD usually feel driven to perform these behaviors, even though they may have a strong desire to stop.