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 Guides, 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 May 30, 2023.
Nestadt, P., & Nestadt, G. (2017). Obsessions. In Johns Hopkins Psychiatry Guide 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 2023 May 30]. Available from: https://www.hopkinsguides.com/hopkins/view/Johns_Hopkins_Psychiatry_Guide/787020/all/Obsessions.
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