Obsessions – these are repetitive thoughts that are experienced as intrusive to and uncharacteristic of the person thinking them.
Compulsions – are either external behaviours or mental strategies which are used to try and escape from the discomfort of the obsessions.
Most people have heard of OCD and it is commonly associated with things like a need for cleanliness and orderliness.
However, there are many different presentations and someone with OCD can worry about absolutely anything.
For example, a child may repeat an action like walking through a doorway because they had a ‘bad’ thought and need to repeat it because they fear the thought may come true if they do not.
Many people have a type of OCD that is not really visible to others but will be characterised by things like seeking reassurance, or doing something internal, like repeating words or saying a prayer in their head.