What Is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?

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It's simple to define but often a challenge to diagnose. According to a diagnostic manual, you simply have to have obsessions and compulsions. Defining obsession and compulsion is where the challenge is. Sometimes it's easy to do by example. So examples of common obsessions include concerns with contamination, unwanted aggressive thoughts, need to have things just so and allow the compulsions or behaviors that are done in response to those obsessions.

The definition of obsession is an intrusive thought, immature impulse that the person finds unwanted, something that is distressful to them. The compulsion is a behavior that they feel that they have to perform usually in response to the obsession in order to reduce or neutralize the anxiety associated with that thought.