Obsessions are intrusive and unwanted thoughts that occur repeatedly and against the person’s will. They can produce anxiety, guilt, shame, or a sense that something doesn’t feel right.
Compulsions are the ritualized mental and/or physical behaviors that occur for lessening distress and discomfort. Compulsions are frequently elaborate, time-consuming and costly. Consequently, personal independence is sacrificed for the sake of avoiding imagined harm.
OCD produces considerable doubting. Individuals living with OCD find it hard to distinguish between what is possible, what is probable, and what is unlikely to happen.
Folks with OCD ask the “What if?” question. This is because uncertainty, or not knowing, is intolerable to them. No one can really know for certain if harm can be avoided. Therefore, living with uncertainty is essential to recovery for those affected by OCD.