Published Online: 30 JAN 2010
Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. All rights reserved.
Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology
How to Cite
Abramowitz, J. S., Mahaffey, B. L. and Wheaton, M. G. 2010. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–3.
- Published Online: 30 JAN 2010
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder that involves two primary symptoms: obsessions and compulsions. Obsessions are thoughts, ideas, images, impulses, or doubts that are experienced as senseless, unwanted, and distressing. Although people with OCD recognize the thoughts as irrational, these thoughts often evoke anxiety about dreaded consequences. Common themes of obsessions include contamination; responsibility for causing terrible harm (e.g., by making mistakes); violent, sexual, or blasphemous thoughts; or thoughts about things not being just right. Beyond these common themes, some individuals may exhibit unusual obsessions, such as a fear of having an extramarital affair with a stranger by mistake.
- anxiety disorder;
- cognitive-behavioral therapy;