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Compulsions

What Compulsions Are:

  • Repetitive behaviors or thoughts that a person engages in to neutralize, counteract, or make their obsessions go away.
  • People with OCD realize this is only a temporary solution, but without a better way to cope, they rely on the compulsion as a temporary escape.
  • Compulsions can also include avoiding situations that trigger obsessions.
  • Compulsions are time consuming and get in the way of important activities the person values.

What Compulsions Are Not:

  • Not all repetitive behaviors or "rituals" are compulsions. For example, bedtime routines, religious practices, and learning a new skill involve repeating an activity over and over again are a welcome part of daily life.
  • Behaviors depend on the context: Arranging and ordering DVDs for eight hours a day isn't a compulsion if the person works in a video store.
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