Definition: a disorder characterized by the persistent and repetitive intrusion of unwanted thoughts, urges, or actions that the person is unable to prevent; the compulsive thoughts may consist of single words, ideas, or ruminations often perceived by the sufferer as nonsensical; the repetitive urges or actions vary from simple movements to complex rituals; anxiety or distress is the underlying emotion or drive state, and the ritualistic behavior is a learned method of reducing the anxiety.
See Also: obsessive-compulsive disorder
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