What are the DSM-5 criteria for compulsions in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)?

Updated: May 17, 2018
  • Author: William M Greenberg, MD; Chief Editor: David Bienenfeld, MD  more...
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Answer

Compulsions are defined by (1) and (2) as follows:

  • Repetitive behaviors (eg, hand washing, ordering, checking) or mental acts (eg, praying, counting, repeating words silently) performed in response to an obsession or according to rules that must be applied rigidly. The behaviors are not a result of the direct physiologic effects of a substance or a general medical condition.

  • The behaviors or mental acts are aimed at preventing or reducing distress or preventing some dreaded event or situation. However, these behaviors or mental acts either are not connected in a way that could realistically neutralize or prevent whatever they are meant to address or they are clearly excessive.


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