Most people have had the experience of leaving the house wondering if they locked the door. They may worry briefly, but after awhile forget about it. The difference between this kind of worry and obsessions, is obsessions are stable and persist. Obsessions occur again and again and often create anxiety and guilt. Attempts to dismiss them are unsuccessful and actually make the thoughts more intense and frequent.
Compulsions are behaviors that temporarily reduce anxiety/stress created by obsessions. Consequently, these behaviors increase in frequency. While compulsions may reduce anxiety/stress in the short run, they actually increase obssessing and anxiety in the long-term. The purpose of compulsions is to avoid anxiety created by obsessions. Just as with phobias, with OCD the more a person avoids what he is afraid of, the more afraid of it he becomes. The sufferer can spend hours and hours every day doing compulsions in order to temporarily achieve relief and escape from anxiety and guilt created by obsessions.
Wartel Behavioral Services, P. C. 6346 Orchard Lake Rd., Suite 107 West Bloomfield, Michigan 48322 Phone: (248) 626-1330 Fax: (248) 626-9170 E-mail: email@example.com