Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is a chronic mental health condition that is usually associated with both obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviour.
An obsession is defined as an unwanted thought, image or urge that repeatedly enters a person’s mind causing them anxiety.
A compulsion is defined as a repetitive behaviour or mental act that a person feels compelled to perform.
Unlike some other types of compulsive behaviour, such as an addiction to drugs or gambling, a person with OCD gets little or no pleasure from their compulsive behaviour. They may feel that they need to carry out their compulsion to prevent their obsession becoming true. For example, a person who is obsessed with the fear that they will catch a serious disease may feel compelled to have a shower every time they use a public toilet.