Definition by Carol Hevia, Psy.D., reproduced with permission from International OCD Foundation.
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A mental act, done in response to an unwanted obsession, that is completed in order to reduce anxiety. Often a mental ritual must be repeated multiple times. It can be a prayer, a repeated phrase, a review of steps taken, a self-reassurance, etc. Often a mental ritual is repeated so often that the individual barely has any awareness of the thought.