Compulsive behavior comes in many forms where sufferers are tormented with recurrent images, thoughts and impulses. It's an anxiety disorder that's categorized as OCD or obsessive-compulsive disorder. In severe cases, it can even dramatically disrupt lives and cause extreme distress.
It's really a trap for people who suffer with is, as you will end up spending an excessive amount of time trying to go through the motions. When you're stuck in this cycle, it can become impossible for someone to even maintain normal human relationships.
What are the different types of compulsive behavior?
Compulsions are behaviors that are displayed by individuals with obsessions. By engaging in compulsive behaviors, it can help relieve some of the stress and anxiety caused by obsessions.
It's similar to what addicts experience as the compulsive behavior is a direct result of excessive thought.
Obsessions can be explained as ideas, thoughts and images that you can't escape from.
Having said that, it's normal for people to have disturbing thoughts every now and again, but people with OCD can't escape these thoughts no matter what they do to be rid of them.
These recurring thoughts and images can have a debilitating effect on someone suffering from OCD.
Obsessions without compulsions
This disease isn't something that's black and white. You can have obsessions without any physical behavior that's linked to it.
For example, you might keep worrying about a loved one far away. In this situation, although your worry can be continuous and consuming, you can't control the situation as you can't do anything about it.
So to be diagnosed with OCD can be difficult as there isn't any compulsive behavior associated with it.
How does it manifest itself?
Fear of contamination
Have you ever noticed someone trying to open a door without touching the doorknob or maybe you do it yourself? That's compulsive behavior in action.
People who suffer from this disorder will shower several times a day and wash their hands over and over again.
Further, they will also keep cleaning their homes to make sure that it's free of germs and spotless.
The compulsion to hoard everything that an individual has ever owned comes from an emotional attachment to stuff. As a result, the very thought of throwing it away can cause a lot of distress.
Sufferers tend to have recurring images with intrusive thoughts that are usually interpreted as horrific. This can manifest itself by mentally replaying something that happened in the past, over and over again.