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(p. 207) Obsessive-compulsive and related disorders 

(p. 207) Obsessive-compulsive and related disorders
(p. 207) Obsessive-compulsive and related disorders

Martin Brüne

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date: 24 May 2020

Obsessive-compulsive and related disorders comprise several syndromes, to which repetitive thoughts or behaviours are central. Compulsive behaviour is concerned most with hygiene, orderliness, checking, grooming, and hoarding, whereas obsessive thoughts (rumination) focus on harm avoidance and cultural taboos. Compulsive behaviours resemble stereotypic movements seen in animals or cultural rituals. Cognitively, anticipating potential future risk scenarios may help in minimising threat, suggesting that obsessivecompulsive disorder may be a by-product of foresight. Obsessive-compulsive disorder is often linked to life events that require heightened vigilance for threat, including sexual maturation (puberty), pregnancy, and childbirth. While most individuals with obsessive-compulsive disorder follow a ‘slow’ life-history strategy, cases with increased impulsivity and reduced inhibitory control seem to pursue a ‘fast’ life-history strategy.

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