Compulsions or compulsive acts can be defined as repetitious, purposeful physical or mental actions that the individual feels compelled to engage in according to their own strict rules or in a stereotyped manner.Typically, the individual experiences a sense of resistance to the act but this is overridden by the strong, subjective drive to perform the action. Most often the principal aim behind the compulsive behaviour is to generate relief (usually only temporary) from the anxiety elicited by the preceding obsession.
These behaviours involve repeatedly performing purposeful and meaningful actions in a very rigid and structured routine, specifically in relation to the obsessional thoughts usually carried out with a view to prevent perceived danger or harm coming to oneself or to a loved one.
In some cases, the person recognises their compulsive actions are irrational, but none-the-less feels bound to carry them out.
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