What is OCD?
Everyone has worries, but the people who suffer most must be those with obsessive-compulsive disorder, also known as OCD.
What is OCD though?
The widely agreed criteria for a diagnosis require that a person must have either obsessions or compulsions or both. Obsessions are recurrent, persistent ideas, thoughts, images or impulses that intrude into consciousness and are experienced as senseless or repugnant. The person does not want them and tries to resist them or get rid of them. Compulsions are repetitive, purposeful forms of behaviour that are carried out because of a strong feeling of compulsion to do so. The behaviour is not an end in itself, but is designed to prevent or reduce anxiety or discomfort, or to prevent some dreaded event or situation. However, that t activity is not connected in a realistic way with what it is designed to prevent, or it is clearly excessive.
Obsessions and compulsions are essentially different. The experience of an obsession is essentially a passive one. A typical example would be the repeated intrusion of a thought such as, “I must have killed someone’, or “I may strangle a child”. Typical obsessions are fears of contracting a terminal illness, being contaminated by germs, being poisoned by chemicals, being threatened by electromagnetic radiation, or even being betrayed by one’s own genes.
A compulsion, on the other hand, is an active phenomenon. It is brought about actively by the person. Examples would be someone who had to touch the door handle three times in a particular way on every occasion he/she closes a door. Obsessive doubters often develop “checking compulsions.” If they doubt they’ve turned off the stove or locked the door, they go back to check and recheck often a hundred or more times. The doubt never goes away, so it can take the person hours to get out the door.
Obsessive compulsive disorder behavior
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