Obsessive and Compulsive Behaviors
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Reviewed By:

Charles Carlson, DO, MS

Charles Carlson, DO, MS (Psychiatry)

Dr. Carlson graduated from Touro University in Nevada with a degree in osteopathic medicine. He then trained as a resident in Psychiatry at Case Western Reserve University/University Hospitals where he was also a chief resident and completed a fellowship in Public and Community Psychiatry. After training, he started practicing in | Addiction Psychiatry at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs where he also teaches Psychiatry residents.

Yu Shirai, MD

Yu Shirai, MD (Psychiatry)

Dr. Shirai works at the Yotsuya Yui Clinic for mental health treatment for English and Portuguese-speaking patients. He treats a wide range of patients from neurodevelopmental disorders to dementia in children and participates in knowledge sharing through the Diversity Clinic.

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Content updated on Feb 26, 2024

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  • Making sure friends are completely clean before touching me

  • Keep going back to check that locks are correct

  • Compulsion to check that gas is switched off

  • Washing hands very frequently

  • Compulsion to check that windows are closed

  • Getting family to wash hands many times

  • Scared of becoming unclean

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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

Generally, Obsessive and compulsive behaviors can be related to:

  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder

    A mental illness where a patient has uncontrollable, recurring thoughts, ideas, or sensations (obsessions) that make them feel compelled to do something repeatedly, like cleaning or washing their hands (compulsions).

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Reviewed By:

Charles Carlson, DO, MS

Charles Carlson, DO, MS (Psychiatry)

Dr. Carlson graduated from Touro University in Nevada with a degree in osteopathic medicine. He then trained as a resident in Psychiatry at Case Western Reserve University/University Hospitals where he was also a chief resident and completed a fellowship in Public and Community Psychiatry. After training, he started practicing in | Addiction Psychiatry at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs where he also teaches Psychiatry residents.

Yu Shirai, MD

Yu Shirai, MD (Psychiatry)

Dr. Shirai works at the Yotsuya Yui Clinic for mental health treatment for English and Portuguese-speaking patients. He treats a wide range of patients from neurodevelopmental disorders to dementia in children and participates in knowledge sharing through the Diversity Clinic.

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