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What is the difference between obsessions and compulsions in OCD?

Obsessions are intrusive, unwanted, resisted thoughts that are disturbing to the patient with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). They are different from the negative thoughts or "ruminations" of a depression in that they are not primarily focused on some negative or depressed content. Compulsions are behaviors that one feels one must do over and over, despite that they become time consuming, interrupt daily functioning, and serve little or no useful purpose.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.