An example of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is when a person who fears becoming contaminated with dirt and germs may wash their hands 50 times a day, or may have the urge to repeat an action multiple times to try to “neutralise” the thought.
- 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.