Obsessions — unwanted intrusive thoughts
- Constant, irrational worry about dirt, germs, or contamination.
- Excessive concern with order, arrangement, or symmetry.
- Fear that negative or aggressive thoughts or impulses will cause personal harm or harm to a loved one.
- Preoccupation with losing or throwing away objects with little or no value.
- Excessive concern about accidentally or purposefully injuring another person.
- Feeling overly responsible for the safety of others.
- Distasteful religious and sexual thoughts or images.
- Doubting that is irrational or excessive.
Compulsions — ritualistic behaviors and routines to ease anxiety or distress
- Cleaning — Repeatedly washing one’s hands, bathing, or cleaning household items, often for hours at a time.
- Checking — Checking and re-checking several to hundreds of times a day that the doors are locked, the stove is turned off, the hairdryer is unplugged, etc.
- Repeating — Inability to stop repeating a name, phrase, or simple activity (such as going through a doorway over and over).
- Mental rituals — Endless reviewing of conversations, counting; repetitively calling up “good” thoughts to neutralize “bad” thoughts or obsessions; or excessive praying and using special words or phrases to neutralize obsessions.
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Screen yourself or a family member for obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Updated August 2015