Compulsions are defined by repetitive behaviors (physical or mental) one engages in to escape anxiety. These behaviors can interfere with daily life due to their time-consuming nature and disruption.
There is a large range of compulsive behavior involving rituals, such as cleaning, checking, ordering, and washing. Mental compulsions include repetitive thoughts designed to counter the anxiety evoked by a disturbing thought, image or impulse. These often include praying, repeating various phrases, and counting.
Often times, compulsions are clearly attached to an obsession, but not always. Unfortunately, although compulsions are designed by an individual to reduce anxiety in the short run, they actually create and maintain more anxiety in the long run.
Reducing compulsive behavior is key in treating OCD.
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