Obsessions and Compulsions.Obsessions are repetitive thoughts, pictures or impulses which are usually unpleasant and come into mind when we don't want them. Many things can trigger these obsessions, and they usually leave the person feeling very anxious, uncomfortable or frightened. The compulsion is the behaviour performed in order to 'put right' the obsession. Sometimes the behaviour performed is quite irrational (and the sufferer recognises this) such as counting up in sevens for seven minutes. Sometimes the behaviour is more closely related to the obsessional thought such as washing hands many times to avoid thoughts of contamination, or repeatedly checking that the oven has been turned off to try and relieve a nagging doubt.
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