You are currently viewing What is a “compulsion” in OCD?
OCD Hangers by King Huang
  • Reading time:3 mins read
  • Post category:Mental health

In OCD, a compulsion is a repetitive behaviour or mental act that someone feels they need to carry out to try to prevent an obsession coming true.

Source: Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) @ NHS Choices


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  • What is OCD? @ Mind

    Excerpt: Compulsions are repetitive activities that you feel you have to do. This could be something like repeatedly checking a door to make sure it is locked or repeating a specific phrase in your head to prevent harm coming to a loved one. The aim of a compulsion is to try and deal with the distress caused by the obsessive thoughts and relieve the anxiety you are feeling. However, the process of repeating these compulsions is often distressing and any relief you feel is often short-lived.

  • Obsessive–compulsive disorder @ Wikipedia

    Excerpt: Some people with OCD perform compulsive rituals because they inexplicably feel they have to, others act compulsively so as to mitigate the anxiety that stems from particular obsessive thoughts. The person might feel that these actions somehow either will prevent a dreaded event from occurring, or will push the event from their thoughts. In any case, the individual’s reasoning is so idiosyncratic or distorted that it results in significant distress for the individual with OCD or for those around them.

image: OCD Hangers by King Huang under Creative Commons license