February 1965

Obsessive Compulsive Neurosis in Children

Author Affiliations

The Neuropsychiatric Institute, UCLA Center for the Health Sciences.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1965;12(2):136-143. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1965.01720320024003

FOR the purposes of this paper the symptoms of obsession and compulsion will be defined and identified separately. The term obsession will refer to an unwanted repetitive thought, which insistently forces itself into consciousness and recurs against the wishes of the patient. It may include ideas, images, affects, or impulses, which neither reason, logic, nor conscious effort are able to influence. A compulsion has many qualities in common with an obsession, but it is expressed in action and is described as a repetitive, stereotyped, and often trivial motor act. Failure to perform the compulsive act results in increasing anxiety, but once performed there is usually a temporary subjective reduction of tension. The essential nature of the obsessive compulsive symptoms, as opposed to similar personality traits, is that they are recognized by the patient as being incongruous and alien to his personality and

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