Repeated Behaviors Due to Unwanted Thoughts and Fears

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Reviewed By:

Charles Carlson

Charles Carlson, DO, MS (Psychiatry)

Yu Shirai

Yu Shirai, MD (Psychiatry)

From our team of 50+ doctors

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People with these symptoms also use Ubie's symptom checker to find possible causes

  • Need to check the locks many times to be reassured

  • Doing illogical things to prevent other illogical fears from arising

  • Often have to persuade my family or friends to get rid of germs

  • Cleaning hands after touching anything

  • Making sure friends are completely clean before touching me

  • Keep going back to check that locks are correct

  • Scared of becoming contaminated

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Content updated on Sep 6, 2022

About the symptom

Obsessive and compulsive thoughts are recurrent and persistent thoughts or urges that are unwanted and cause distress. The person attempts to suppress the unwanted thoughts or urges by performing an action (compulsive action). Examples of some repetitive actions/behaviors are hand washing, ordering, checking, praying, counting, or repeating words silently.

Possible causes

  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder

    A mental illness in which a patient has uncontrollable, recurring thoughts, ideas or sensations (Obsessions) that make them feel driven to do something repeatedly such as cleaning or washing their hands (compulsions). Although the cause of OCD is not fully known, experts believe that neurochemical abnormalities play a part in the disease.

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Reviewed By:

Yu Shirai

Yu Shirai, MD (Psychiatry)

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