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Published by: Dr Dushyant Kamal Dhari on Sep 06, 2012
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Obsessive-compulsive disorder is characterized by the presence of either

obsessions or compulsions. Obsessions are recurrent or persistent thoughts,

images, or impulses that are intrusive and cause marked anxiety or distress

which the person tries to suppress or neutralize. The obsessions are not exces-

sive worry about real-life problems, and the person is aware that they are a prod-

uct of his or her own mind. Compulsions are repetitive behaviors or thoughts

which are intended to provide relief from the distress of the obsessions or to pre-

vent a feared event. The compulsions are excessive and are not connected in a

realistic way to what they are designed to neutralize or prevent (such as tapping

the wall to prevent overhead planes from crashing). Compulsions include such

Assessment and Diagnosis 89

behaviors as hand washing, checking, praying, or counting and consume at least

one hour per day. The distress and interference impedes functioning. Generally

the person recognizes that the obsessions or compulsions are excessive or unrea-

sonable (this does not apply to children). The clinician must specify if the

patient cannot adequately assess his condition.

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