posted on Oct, 2 2003 @ 06:52 PM
Obsessive-compulsive disorder is defined as the presence of obsessions or compulsions that produce substantial discomfort or impairment.
Obsessions are recurrent, markedly distressing thoughts, ideas, or impulses experienced as unwanted and senseless. Compulsions are repetitive,
purposeful, intentional behaviors, usually performed in response to an obsession in order to reduce the distress or prevent some dreaded event.
Either obsessions or compulsions:
Obsessions as defined by (1), (2), (3), and (4):
1. recurrent and persistent thoughts, impulses, or images that are experienced, at some time during the disturbance, as intrusive and inappropriate
and that cause marked anxiety or distress
2. the thoughts, impulses, or images are not simply excessive worries about real-life problems
3. the person attempts to ignore or suppress such thoughts, impulses, or images, or to neutralize them with some other thought or action
4. the person recognizes that the obsessional thoughts, impulses, or images are a product of his or her own mind (not imposed from without as in
Compulsions as defined by (1) and (2):
1. repetitive behaviors (e.g., hand washing, ordering, checking) or mental acts (e.g., praying, counting, repeating words silently) that the person
feels driven to perform in response to an obsession, or according to rules that must be applied rigidly
2. the behaviors or mental acts are aimed at preventing or reducing distress or preventing some dreaded event or situation; however, these behaviors
or mental acts either are not connected in a realistic way with what they are designed to neutralize or prevent or are clearly excessive
At some point during the course of the disorder, the person has recognized that the obsessions or compulsions are excessive or unreasonable. Note:
This does not apply to children.
The obsessions or compulsions cause marked distress, are time consuming (take more than 1 hour a day), or significantly interfere with the person's
normal routine, occupational (or academic) functioning, or usual social activities or relationships.
If the individual has an additional disorder, the content of the obsessions or compulsions is not restricted to it.
The disturbance is not due to the direct physiological effects of a substance (e.g., a drug of abuse, a medication) or a general medical condition.
My 2c on this:
* everyone has a degree of obsessiveness and compulsiveness, it's part of the evolved human makeup
* I have always regarded 'obsession' as part of the thinking process and 'compulsion' as acting out or behavior arising from the obsession
* you really do know when you are watching someone with the disorder, you know when they are impaired
* I am not a true believer in the official psychiatric definitions of many things - for example being schizophrenic as opposed to having a temporary
delusional disorder is just a matter of a couple of days - this doesn't wash with me.
What creates obsessions?
Chemical imbalance, too much time to dwell on fears, and too much freedom to engage in the resultant behavior that creates an engrained habit. Like