WHO Guide to Mental and Neurological Health in Primary Care
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Homepage :: Adult disorders :: Obsessive-compulsive disorder :: Presenting complaints

Presenting complaints

  • Commonly concern avoidance and thoughts of 'contamination' by objects or situations, and repetitive, cleaning and washing rituals to dispel the contamination.
  • Also common are intrusive thoughts of doubt and repetitive checking to prevent harm to self or others, or urges to obtain order or precision or follow a strictly personal routine.

Patients often conceal their symptoms (because of their perceived silly or shameful nature) for fear of ridicule or other unpleasant consequences and so seek help only many years after their problem began. 

Last edited: 5/12/2003


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2003-4 World Health Organization - UK Collaborating Centre