Substance Abuse Rehabilitation

Substance abuse causes substance addiction. It is a chronic disease characterized by the compulsive need to seek sub irrespective of its harmful effects. It causes lasting changes in the brain. In order to recover and undo effects of the substance, the individual and his family members must undertake rehabilitative measures. Rehabilitation helps encourage the addicted […]

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10 Things people who have over...

Alcohol addiction is more than just a drinking problem. It is a biological, progressive, chemical and a fatal disease. It can enlighten a sense of urgency and necessity due to its dependence but overcoming an addiction is so entrenched it is not an easy feat. People who have overcome addiction have been sailed two ships; […]

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Depression in Women

One in four women experiences depression at some point in time in their life. And women are twice as likely to experience clinical depression than men. Still wondering why the women in your life are crying most of the time, or feeling persistently sad, and has no interest in anything. Here is your answer: she […]

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The Family Impact: The social disadvantage and subordination of women on the one hand. And the rapid socio-cultural and economic changes on the other have significantly altered traditional structures and institutions within society. Such changes are invariably associated with social upheaval and drug abuse is a known outcome of such change. Drug abuse poses various […]

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Reinventing Mindful Eating

Reinventing Mindful Eating: Eating is an inevitable activity of everyday life. There was a time when this activity was carried on with utmost mindfulness, i.e. prayers were offered before beginning the meals, and after ending the meals slokas like Annapoorne Sada Poorne, Shankara Prana Vallabhe, Trayam were recited. Offering supplication (Du’ä) by Islam followers during the meal, […]

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Difference between Obsession and Compulsion

obsession, compulsion, obsession and compulsion, OCD and obsession

Obsession and compulsion simplified

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental disorder wherein an individual experiences recurring and undesirable thoughts, sensations or ideas which is known as obsessions that compels them to carry out behaviour on repetition which is known as compulsions.

Let’s understand the difference between Obsession and Compulsion;

  Obsessions Compulsions
What are they? They are thoughts, ideas and impulses. They are actions.
What do they do? They cause unwanted feelings, anxiety and distress. They are performed to cope with obsessions.
Relation They lead to compulsions. (Cause) They result due to obsessions. (Effect)
Disruption They disrupt the mental wellbeing. They disrupt the physical wellbeing.
Repetition Repetition in thoughts, ideas and impulses. Repetition in actions.
Themes Contamination– Fear of contracting something, like dirt, germs, chemicals, etc.E.g. Shaking hands with others thinking, ‘Did I contract germs from them?’ Washing or cleaning- Because of the excessive fear they wash and clean themselves, excessively. And sometimes to the point being ritualistic in nature.
Unintentional harm to self or others– Fear of harming themselves or others through negligence.E.g., ‘What if I didn’t lock the doors properly?’ Checking– Because of the excessive fear of burglary they would check doors, locks, to make sure everything is fine.
Symmetry– A need to have items or things in a specific order and symmetry.E.g. Aligning clothes in a certain way, for example in colour, or facing a certain direction. Counting, tapping and touching objects. Compulsions involved her would be counting, tapping, touching objects in a particular way or particular times.


Because obsessions are repetitive ideas and thoughts that are unwanted in nature causing distress and anxiety, Compulsions are carried out to make individuals feel safer. These compulsions end up being ritualistic and repetitive to reduce the stress but if the ritual is disrupted they would harness an unrealistic fear (obsession) as they didn’t complete the ritual. Culminating to a vicious cycle,

Cycle image OCD

So suppose, an individual has an obsessional thought of dying due to the cooking stove being on (obsessional thought) hence causing him to stress, he would repeatedly check (compulsive behaviour) and this checking makes him ‘feel’ safe (short term relief) so he decides to check 5 times before leaving for work. Now if suppose one day he wasn’t able to check the stove ‘5times’ (compulsive behaviour) he begins then to develop irrational fear of dying (obsessional thought) due to the cooking stove being on causing him to stress and hence would go to great lengths to make sure he check ‘5 times’ daily to feel safe. Unfortunately these obsessions don’t “go away”, until the ritual is performed.

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