What Is Obsession?

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Obsessions are thoughts, images, or ideas that won't go away, are unwanted and cause extreme distress.

Everyone has strange, unusual or even disturbing thoughts that pop up from time to time.

What Are Obsessions?

There are many different types of obsessions, including:

    • worrying constantly about catching a deadly disease and/or that you will contaminate others with your germs
    • fears about contamination with environmental toxins such as lead or radioactivity
    • an intense fear that something horrible will happen to a loved one
    • profound worry that you will do something extremely embarrassing, like screaming out an obscenity at a funeral
    • believing you may hit someone with your car or injure someone unknowingly
    • aggressive or disturbing ideas, such as thoughts of murdering your partner or child
    • disturbing sexual and/or religious imagery that might include sexual assault or inappropriate sexual acts
    • a strong need to reorder things until they feel "just right"
    • a fear of harming inanimate objects

What Are Compulsions?

Compulsions are behaviors that have to be done over and over again to relieve anxiety. Compulsions are often related to obsessions. For example, if you are obsessed with being contaminated, you may feel compelled to wash your hands or use hand sanitizer repeatedly. Common compulsions include cleaning, counting, checking, requesting or demanding reassurance and ensuring order and symmetry. As with obsessions, people with OCD usually (but not always) have insight into the irrationality of their compulsions.

https://www.verywellmind.com/about-ocd-obsessions-and-compulsions-2510672

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