Obsessive compulsive disorder
= at least 2 weeks of recurring and persistent ideas, thoughts, impulses and behaviors,
that impose themselves against internal resistance
are experienced as nonsensical, exaggerated or excruciating by those affected
and lead to significant impairment in everyday functions (more than 1 hour / day).
Obsessional thoughts are ideas, images, or impulses that enter the patient’s mind again and again in a stereotyped form. They are almost invariably distressing and the patient often tries, unsuccessfully, to resist them. They are, however, recognized as his or her own thoughts, even though they are involuntary and often repugnant.
Compulsive acts or rituals are stereotyped behaviours that are repeated again and again. They are not inherently enjoyable, nor do they result in the completion of inherently useful tasks. Their function is to prevent some objectively unlikely event, often involving harm to or caused by the patient, which he or she fears might otherwise occur. Usually, this behaviour is recognized by the patient as pointless or ineffectual and repeated attempts are made to resist.
Anxiety is almost invariably present. If compulsive acts are resisted the anxiety gets worse.