An obsession is defined as:

  • An idea, impulse or image which intrudes into conscious awareness repeatedly
  • Recognised as one’s own idea, image or impulse but is not acceptable to the ego (distressing)
  • Recognized as irrational and absurd by the person himself/herself
  • Patient tries to resist but unable to do it
  • Failure to resist leads to marked distress

Compulsive behaviour, aimed at preventing or neutralizing the distress or fear arising out of obsession. It is an excessive , irrational and repetitive behavior. Most people with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) have both obsessions and compulsions, but some people experience just one or the other.

Common obsessive thoughts in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) include:

  • Fear of being contaminated by germs or dirt or contaminating others.
  • Fear of causing harm to yourself or others.
  • Intrusive sexually explicit or violent thoughts and images.
  • Excessive focus on religious or moral ideas.
  • Fear of losing or not having things you might need.
  • Order and symmetry: the idea that everything must line up “just right.
  • Superstitions; excessive attention to something considered lucky or unlucky.

Common compulsive behaviors in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) include Excessive double-checking of things, such as locks, appliances, and switches, repeatedly checking in on loved ones to make sure they’re safe. Counting, tapping, repeating certain words, or doing other senseless things to reduce anxiety.Spending a lot of time washing or cleaning. Praying excessively or engaging in rituals triggered by religious fear. Accumulating “junk” such as old newspapers or empty food containers.Compulsive hoarding-collecting and keeping things with little or no use or value. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy is very effective in treating OCD.