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  • Created by: Violag
  • Created on: 11-01-16 08:51



An anxiety disorder where suffers experience persistant, intrusive thoughts occuring in obsessions, complusions or both.

Obesessions: What people think

Compulsions: Actions that result in obsessions.

Example of Obsessions: Convinced germs are everywhere which lead to extream anxiety.

Example of Compulsions: Uncontrollable urges to repeatedly perform tasks and behaviours such as washing hands to remove germs.

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Behavioural Characteristics

  • Excessive repetitive behaviours to reduce anxiety (hand washing, cleaning or checking).
  • Counting, tapping or repeating certain words to reduce anxiety
  • Spending a lot of time washing, cleaning or checking
  • Demanding reassurances
  • Excesive double checking of things (checking locks, appliences and swicthes)
  • Repeatedly checking family and friends
  • Spending lots of time making sure 'things are just so'
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Emotional Characteristics

  • Distress and anxiety about being prevented from performing rituals
  • Overwhelming fear of being contaminated or fear causing harm to themselves or others
  • Intense distress when objects are not orderly or facing the right way
  • Doubts having checked/performed compulsions
  • Depression- low mood and lack of enjoyment
  • Irrational guilt and disgust
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Cognitive Characteristics

  • Obsessive, irrational and innapropriate thoughts/images e.g worries of being contaminated by dirt and germs
  • Catastrophic thinking
  • Performing mental acts such as praying or counting
  • Tendancy to overestimate the liklihood of danger
  • Hypervigilant- maintain constant alertness ad attention focused on hazards
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Other Factors

  • Is an anxiety disorder
  • Obsessions (which are internal intrusive cognitive thoughts) lead to complusions ( which are external behavioural actions)
  • OCD affects 2-2.5% of the population, male and female both affected equally
  • A person must feel driven to perform these complusions on most days for a period of two weeks or more.
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OCD diagram



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