- A recurrent and persistent idea, thought, or impulse to carry out an act that is ego-dystonic, that is experienced as senseless or repugnant, and that the individual cannot voluntarily suppress. [L. obsideo, pp. -sessus, to besiege, fr. sedeo, to sit]- inhibitory o. an o. involving an impediment to action, usually representing a phobia.
* * *ob·ses·sion äb-'sesh-ən, əb- n a persistent disturbing preoccupation with an often unreasonable idea or feeling also something that causes such preoccupation compare COMPULSION, PHOBIAob·ses·sion·al -'sesh-nəl, -ən-əl adj
* * *n.a recurrent thought, feeling, or action that is unpleasant and provokes anxiety but cannot be got rid of. Although an obsession dominates the person, he (or she) realizes its senselessness and struggles to expel it. The obsession may be a vivid image, a thought, a fear (for example, of contamination), or an impulse (for example, to wash the hands repetitively). It is a feature of obsessive-compulsive disorder (see also neurosis) and sometimes of depression and of organic states, such as encephalitis. It can be treated with behaviour therapy and also with psychotherapy and anxiolytic drugs. See also anankastic.• obsessional adj.
* * *ob·ses·sion (ob-seshґən) [L. obsessio] a recurrent, persistent thought, image, or impulse that is unwanted and distressing (ego-dystonic) and comes involuntarily to mind despite attempts to ignore or suppress it. Common obsessions involve thoughts of violence, contamination, and self-doubt. obsessive adj
Medical dictionary. 2011.