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OCD


 

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) consists of the presence of obsessions or compulsions that cause significant distress or impairment. Obsessions are thoughts a person knows are their own that contain possible events that upset and worry the person having them. These worries often consist of actions that are repugnant to the person having them (“I would never do that …”) but they nevertheless fear they may do them. Similarly, some compulsions consist of fears of harm coming to the person having the obsessive thoughts (“If I touch the doorknob I might get germs …”). One of the common properties of all obsessions is that they cause the person experiencing them to become anxious and upset. Compulsions are behaviors, like checking, washing, arranging, etc, that are intended to reduce the anxiety precipitated by the obsession. However, the compulsions seldom allay the fears from the obsessions, so the behaviors are repeated over and over in an effort to extinguish the obsessive fears. Note that repeated behaviors that seek pleasure are not truly compulsions (gambling, shopping, etc) and should not be referred to as “compulsive shopping” or compulsive gambling.”