Obsessions and compulsions are hard to turn off.

Most people with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder suffer from both obsessions and compulsions. “Obsessions” are thoughts, mental pictures, or impulses that are upsetting but that keep coming back. “Compulsions” are actions that people feel they have to perform to keep from feeling anxious or to prevent something bad from happening.

Common obsessions include fears of getting a disease, fears of hurting someone, fears of forgetting to do something, and fears of doing something embarrassing or immoral. Compulsions are also called “rituals.” Common compulsions include excessive washing or cleaning, checking, repeating actions, hoarding and putting objects in a set pattern.

Most people with OCD know that their fears are not completely realistic at least some of the time. They also feel that their compulsions do not make sense. However, they find themselves unable to stop. Cognitive-behavioral therapy has been demonstrated by research to help people manage and overcome obsessive-compulsive disorder.

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