Obsessive-Compulsive disorder is a specific type of anxiety disorder that involves recurrent thoughts (obsessions) and repetitive behavior (compulsions).
Obsessions are unwanted persistent thoughts, ideas or worries that the person just can't seem to get away from for very long. The thoughts typically concern a fear, either of hurting something or someone, or of being hurt by someone or something or being contaminated by something.
Compulsive behaviors are typically a way to cope with the obsessions. They are behaviors that are initially intended to relieve the tension brought upon by the obsession. Compulsive behaviors are usually repetitive and the person basically becomes addicted to them because they need to release the tension brought upon by their obsession.
For example, if a person is obsessed with germs, they may become afraid anything they touch will infect them with germs. They might cope with this obsession by washing their hand repeatedly throughout the day. Sometimes they might wash thier hands hundreds of times a day. It is clear this disorder can cause extreme distress and/or disrupt many areas of a person's life.
If you our your child are experiencing obsessive-compulsive type difficulties it is important to get help early on from a professional counselor who specializes in treating this type of disorder. At the Counseling Corner we have therapists that treat obsessive compulsive disorders. There are effective ways to treat this disorder that can prevent years of turmoil.