Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Obsession and Compulsion

Obsession vs Compulsion

Both of these terms involve a disorder; this may give an impression that both obsession and compulsion are alike.

Obsession is a mental disorder that refers to the repetitive ideas or impulses in a person’s mind. Although most of the time the ideas and impulses in the mind would involve a desire that is waiting to be satisfied, there are times that these ideas and impulses are unwanted making that person with an obsession somewhat mentally unbalanced. The impulses and ideas may also be persistent. Even though the person with an obsession does not want to think about the particular obsession that he or she has, the ideas still keep popping into his or her mind. Moreover, the person with an obsession can have further problems if he or she refuses to think about that particular impulse or idea. Although the person with an obsession is busy with other sorts of things, this idea would still recur, and usually it would disrupt the thinking of that particular person.

On the other hand, a compulsion is also a mental disorder. However, it is actually an action. While the obsession would involve impulses or ideas, a compulsion would involve otherwise. The person with a compulsion repeats a particular action that he or she is fixated on. This repetitive action then becomes somewhat a daily ritual for the person with a compulsion. The person with this disorder never ceases to have the urge to do a particular action, which makes it repetitive, and then in turn it becomes the person’s ritual.

The person with an obsession would be comparable to a broken record disc. Even if the person refuses to think of that particular obsession, the person cannot stop since it just keeps coming back. Furthermore, if the person would refuse to think of that particular idea or impulse, the person would be further disturbed which would also result in a much more complicated mental disorder. On the other hand, a compulsion would be very comparable to a machine that is programmed to do the same thing over and over again. Although this urge to do a particular action in a compulsion would also be persistent, it is different from an obsession since a compulsion involves actions.

On the contrary, an obsession could actually result in a compulsion. A person who is fixated by an action would definitely have an obsession. For example, a person who has a compulsion of hand washing might be obsessed with being clean. That is why he or she is doing that particular compulsion. In that particular instance, there is a clear manifestation of an obsession through the compulsion acted out by the person.

SUMMARY:

1.Obsession is limited to the mind while a compulsion involves actions.

2.An obsession involves persistent ideas while a compulsion involves persistent actions.

3.The person with an obsession would be comparable to a broken record disc. On the other hand, a compulsion would be very comparable to a machine that is programmed to the same thing over and over again.


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