Obsessive compulsive disorder refers to a cycle of obsessions and compulsions, in which the person gets stuck.

Obsessions are unwanted or intrusive and repetitive thoughts, images, or impulses. The obsessions feel outside of the person’s control and, in most cases, he/she realizes that they don’t make any sense.
Obsessions trigger intense and uncomfortable feelings such as anxiety, disgust, doubt, or a feeling that things have to be done in a way that is “just right.”

Compulsions are repetitive behaviors or thoughts that a person uses with the intention of neutralizing, counteracting, or making the obsessions go away, or of reducing the uncomfortable feelings. However, the repetition of compulsions often also causes discomfort and relief is little or none, and always temporary.

Both obsessions and compulsions are time and energy consuming, and get in the way of important activities the person values.