Have you ever observed anyone repetitively washing their hands/ cleaning the same thing or area again and again/ repeating specific words or phrases/ organizing objects in a specific symmetrical manner? If yes, there is a high possibility of you having to observed someone engage in a compulsive behaviour.Now, where does this compulsive come from? It is understood that usually an intrusive or unwanted thought/ image/ urge gives rise to these compulsive behaviours. Imagine, you are going about doing your usual chore or work, lets say you are watching a movie, all of a sudden there is a thought that invades your consciousness like “Oh, I had travelled by cab today, there must be so many germs on my clothes, if I do not clean myself up then I may spread to everyone else around me, and cause them to fall sick, maybe even hospitalized.” While the trigger thought was travelling by cab, it is followed by chain of thoughts that trigger immense anxiety for you.With all these intruding thoughts and fatal imagined consequences, now you begin to feel palpitations, churning in stomach, nausea, etc. all symptoms of anxiety and this causes you to feel “I need to do something, I should maybe clean up or shower before something horrible happens to my loved ones” and there you go, without even knowing that you just fell in to the obsession compulsion trap.While this sound very simple and seems like “Oh, that's it, that’s easy to deal with” unfortunately people dealing with what is known as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or OCD face a significant amount of stress due to these thoughts/ images. They are repetitively attacked by thoughts/ ideas/ images which they do not wish to encounter or think of and common obsessions include (to name a few)Fear of contamination, such as dirt, body fluids, germs, viruses, chemicals, household products etc.Fear of losing control, by acting out on the impulse or thoughts such as stealing, blurting out obscene words, harming self or others around, or becoming violentFear of Harm, with feelings of being responsible for causing hurt to others or not being careful enoughPerfectionism, with needing things to be an exact manner, unable to decide to keep or discard things, or fear of losing thingsFear of Unwanted Sexual thoughts, with sexual thoughts/ impulses which are perverse,inappropriate to self, and unacceptable to the society (such as obsessions of being sexually violent)Pretty much in line with the nature of obsession, compulsions occur, and to list a few of the common compulsions, they include:Washing and Cleaning, excessive cleaning of self and environment and objects, frequent hand washing, taking longer time to take baths or performing toilet routinesChecking, like checking that you did not harm others, checking parts of your body, checking the gas, checking that nothing bad has happenedRepeating, some body movements (e.g. touching forehead three times), repeating or re-reading words, doing regular activity several times (e.g. tapping the door knob few times before opening or after locking)Mental compulsions, include doing things mentally like praying, chanting or reviewing events mentally to prevent harm and cancelling/ undoing (replacing bad word with the good word)People often use the term OCD loosely for when they like things a certain way or are habitual to something and dislike any change or alteration in the habit or routine. Whereas, OCD is not mere habituation, rather a sequence of association between obsessions and compulsions which are disliked by the individual however out of his/ her helplessness they give in to these intrusive thoughts and compulsive ritualistic behaviours for some relief from the anxiety, unfortunately temporary in nature until the whole cycle starts again.The cycle of OCD can be managed and the person facing OCD can obtain genuine help and relief through appropriate diagnosis and evidence based psychotherapeutic interventions by qualified and licensed mental health professionals.