Obsessions are ideas that seem to fill your mind, even when you don’t want to think about them. These thoughts may be about imperfections, cleanliness, organization, keeping important things, achieving approval by others, avoiding danger, influencing events in the world, or protecting others from harm. Obsessions may also be about a wide variety of other topics.
Compulsions are behaviors that you may do, even when you don’t want to do them. These behaviors are typically associated with obsessions. Compulsions may include, but are not limited to, trying to improve your appearance, achieving high grades, removing contaminants, keeping things organized, keeping items that you don’t actually want or need, asking others their opinions about you, excessively protecting your home, praying or thinking positive thoughts, engaging in superstitions, or babyproofing your child’s environment beyond reasonable needs. This list is just a sample of compulsions, and there are many others.