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]
- impulsive o. an o. accompanied by action, sometimes becoming a mania.
- inhibitory o. an o. involving an impediment to action, usually representing a phobia.

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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, PHOBIA
ob·ses·sion·al -'sesh-nəl, -ən-əl adj

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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.

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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.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Obsession — Obsession …   Deutsch Wörterbuch

  • obsession — [ ɔpsesjɔ̃ ] n. f. • 1590; « siège » XVe; lat. obsessio 1 ♦ Vx État d une personne qu un démon obsède. On distinguait obsession et possession. ♢ (1690) Vx Action d importuner, d obséder; son résultat. « Il insistait, le lardait d une obsession de …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Obsession — Ob*ses sion, n. [L. obsessio: cf. F. obsession.] 1. The act of besieging. [archaic] Johnson. [1913 Webster] 2. The state of being besieged; used specifically of a person beset by a spirit from without. [archaic] Tylor. [1913 Webster] Whether by… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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  • Obsession — (lat.), Besessenheit, Besessensein; vgl. Besessene …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • obsession — I noun absorption, application, attraction, compulsion, craze, crotchet, dominating action, engrossment, exclusive attention, fanaticism, fancy, fascination, fetish, fixation, fixed idea, immersion, infatuation, irresistible impulse, mania,… …   Law dictionary

  • obsession — (n.) 1510s, action of besieging, from L. obsessionem (nom. obsessio) siege, noun of action from pp. stem of obsidere to besiege (see OBSESS (Cf. obsess)). Later, hostile action of an evil spirit (like possession but without the spirit actually… …   Etymology dictionary

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  • obsession — ► NOUN 1) the state of being obsessed. 2) an idea or thought that intrudes on someone s mind. DERIVATIVES obsessional adjective …   English terms dictionary

  • obsession — [əb sesh′ən] n. [L obsessio] 1. the act of an evil spirit in possessing or ruling a person 2. a) the fact or state of being obsessed with an idea, desire, emotion, etc. b) such a persistent idea, desire, emotion, etc., esp. one that cannot be… …   English World dictionary

  • Obsession — Contents 1 Literature 2 Film 3 Television 4 Music …   Wikipedia

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