What is Obsessive-compulsive behaviour?
‘Obsessive’ refers to repetitive, intrusive thoughts, images or impulses, ‘compulsive’ refers to repetitive actions
Either one or both may be present in one person
Predominant feeling is a ‘doubt’ whether a task has been done ‘perfectly’
Cannot be controlled by will power
Compulsive symptoms fall into one of these clusters: cleaning, checking, hoarding/collecting or ordering
Essentially, a normal action, for example washing hands or checking a lock, is repeated several times.
The part of the brain that generates the doubt normally receives feedback when an action is complete. A break in this pathway is the basis of lingering doubt.
Medications – called SSRIs – to be continued long-term
Cognitive Behavior therapy