Compulsion

By Renée Grinnell

A task or ritual used repetitively to reduce anxiety; often accompanied by obsessions, as with obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Example: A woman must check the locks on all her doors and windows three times each before she can retire in the evening. If prevented from performing this ritual, she can’t fall asleep.


    Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 7 Oct 2008