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Paul Nestadt, M.D., Gerald Nestadt, M.D.
Obsessions is a topic covered in the Johns Hopkins Psychiatry Guide.

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An obsession is an unbidden, intrusive thought, image, or urge that intrudes into consciousness; attempts to dispel it are difficult and typically lead to anxiety. These thoughts, images, or urges are recognized as part of one’s own mental life. To varying degrees they are judged by the patient to be irrational.

An obsession can involve diverse subjects, often including:

  • Aggressive thoughts
  • Sexual thoughts
  • Religious thoughts
  • Contamination concerns
  • Need for symmetry
  • Need to know or remember

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Last updated: July 1, 2017


Nestadt, Paul, and Gerald Nestadt. "Obsessions." Johns Hopkins Psychiatry Guide, 2017. Johns Hopkins Guide, www.hopkinsguides.com/hopkins/view/Johns_Hopkins_Psychiatry_Guide/787020/all/Obsessions.
Nestadt P, Nestadt G. Obsessions. Johns Hopkins Psychiatry Guide. 2017. https://www.hopkinsguides.com/hopkins/view/Johns_Hopkins_Psychiatry_Guide/787020/all/Obsessions. Accessed July 18, 2019.
Nestadt, P., & Nestadt, G. (2017). Obsessions. In Johns Hopkins Psychiatry Guide. Available from https://www.hopkinsguides.com/hopkins/view/Johns_Hopkins_Psychiatry_Guide/787020/all/Obsessions
Nestadt P, Nestadt G. Obsessions [Internet]. In: Johns Hopkins Psychiatry Guide. ; 2017. [cited 2019 July 18]. Available from: https://www.hopkinsguides.com/hopkins/view/Johns_Hopkins_Psychiatry_Guide/787020/all/Obsessions.
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TY - ELEC T1 - Obsessions ID - 787020 A1 - Nestadt,Paul,M.D. AU - Nestadt,Gerald,M.D. Y1 - 2017/07/01/ BT - Johns Hopkins Psychiatry Guide UR - https://www.hopkinsguides.com/hopkins/view/Johns_Hopkins_Psychiatry_Guide/787020/all/Obsessions DB - Johns Hopkins Guide DP - Unbound Medicine ER -