You know you have obsessive compulsive disorder when you have recurring thoughts that enter your head, even when you don't want them. You may have thoughts that you are contaminated by germs. Or you may think you left the stove on or left the door unlocked. Or you may have thoughts that things are not straight or symmetrical. These recurring, intrusive thoughts make you stressed and anxious, and these feelings make you feel uncomfortable and are unwanted.
To ward off the anxiety that these thoughts bring, you may act in ways to decrease your anxiety. If you have thoughts that you are contaminated with germs, then you might act to decrease the anxiety associated with these thoughts by washing your hands and body frequently. If you think that you left the door unlocked or left the stove on, then you may check it repeatedly. If you think things are not straight or symmetrical, then you may then act by rearranging things and straigthening them.
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