Compulsions Toward Certain Activities
The other hallmark symptom of OCD is compulsions toward certain activities. With obsessive-compulsive disorder, patients feel like they need to complete a particular behavior to make their fears stop. Some of these compulsions may follow a fairly standard thought process. For example, if an affected individual has an obsessive fear of being contaminated by germs, they may need to wash their hands a certain number of times or wipe their hands off after they touch others. However, some of the compulsions may follow a phenomenon called ‘magical thinking.’ This occurs when the patient with OCD constructs rituals and behaviors with rules that don’t make sense. One example would be responding to a fear of a pet dying by spinning around a certain number of times or clapping a certain number of times. Regardless of how the compulsions start, they cause significant distress, and trying to stop following them leads to increased stress and continued obsessive thinking.
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