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OCD and Obsessive Thoughts (Obsessions)

Awful, negative thoughts that we cannot stop. In the early 16th century, obsession referred to a 'siege' or 'laying siege to' and that's just what our intrusive thoughts do to us.

They besiege us.

Constantly intruding into our mind against our will, we cannot prevent them, change them or make them go away.

It can be extremely distressing.

Common obsessions involve: (List in no particular order)

• Religion, sex and violence.
• Being dirty and contaminating others.
• Harming loved ones.
• Of getting dirty or catching some disease or illness.
• That appliances are left on / doors are left open.
• That loved ones may be hurt or killed
• That certain numbers are bad or good.

For obsessive thoughts to be diagnosed as a problem a number of criteria are considered. These include:-

point They must be present on most days for at least 2 successive weeks.

point They must be a source of distress or interference with activities.

point They must be recognized as the individual's own thoughts.

point There must be at least one thought that is still resisted unsuccessfully, even though others may be present which the sufferer no longer resists.

point The thought of carrying out the act must not in itself be pleasurable.

point The thoughts or images must be unpleasantly repetitive.


Obsessions can take over our life, Yet negative thinking only reflects an extreme form of normal behaviour. Bad thoughts, in themselves, are normal; we all have nasty, horrible thoughts sometimes.

In one study, fully 80% of the 'normal' people (without OCD) questioned, reported having obsessive thoughts.

›› More About Obsessive Thinking




"a persistent idea or impulse often associated with anxiety"

(Collins English Dictionary)


Free Anxiety Ebook

More Resources:
OCD Foundation




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