Symptoms of compulsion, on the other hand, include a drive to perform repetitive behaviors in order to reduce obsessive thoughts or to prevent a perceived danger from coming to fruition. Compulsions also have themes that unite them: individuals may repeatedly wash their hands, follow rigid daily routines, or compulsively organize their things.
Not uncommonly, a genetic test may help guide the evaluation and treatment of OCD, particularly when it is complex and treatment-resistant, as in the story of Janice.
Symptoms of OCD can vary between people and change over the course of an individual’s life—and it can be difficult at times to distinguish between perfectionism and compulsion. If it seems like your obsessive thoughts or compulsions are holding you back from living your life fully—if they regularly diminish your experiences—then it may be time to consult with a psychiatrist. Our team is ready to help.