Association Between Obsessions and Compulsions

For most patients with OCD, obsessions are followed by compulsions. Usually, the compulsions are thematically related to the obsessions; however, there is a broad range of logical coherence of this connection. Washing rituals, for example, are usually motivated by fears of contamination or illness. Checking rituals are usually prompted by worries that an action (e.g., turning off the stove) was performed incorrectly and that some catastrophic event (e.g., fire) will occur as a result. Other connections are less logical: for example, turning a light switch off and on several times in order to prevent one's family from dying in a car accident.

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