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Obsessive-compulsive behaviors worsen under stress


Last updated 2/7/2008 at Noon

It is estimated that anywhere between two and seven million Americans have obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

OCD has two parts: unreasonable obsessions plus the compulsive acting out of mental or physical rituals to reduce the stress of the thoughts or to supposedly ward off negative events.

Compulsive thoughts that plague OCD sufferers are commonly a fear of getting a disease like AIDS or cancer, of being poisoned, of inadvertently causing harm to someone, of having forgotten to do something like lock the door before bed or of losing something important.

Mental rituals used to soothe...

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