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.
What are they?
They are thoughts, ideas, and impulses
What do they do?
They cause unwanted feelings, anxiety, and distress
They lead to compulsions. (Cause)
They disrupt the mental wellbeing
Repetition in thoughts, ideas, and impulses.
What are they?
They are actions
What do they do?
They are performed to cope with obsessions.
They result due to obsessions. (Effect)
They disrupt the physical wellbeing
Repetition in actions
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,
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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