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Mindy Lawrence

When Lady Macbeth washes her hands over and over again in Shakespeare’s play Macbeth, she is exhibiting a sign of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. She repeats an excessive act to lessen her stress

According to the article “Common Obsessions and Compulsions Among People With OCD” on the website VeryWellMind, This is a list of some of the physical actions suffers exhibit:
  • Repeatedly checking to make sure that doors and windows are locked or that appliances are turned off; some individuals with OCD have to check their neighborhood to make sure they have not hit someone with their car or assaulted someone

  • Excessive cleaning of the house, clothes, and/or body

  • Counting objects, letters, words, or actions

  • Doing routine activities repeatedly, like standing up or going up and downstairs

  • Requesting or demanding reassurance from family members or health care providers, such as "My hands should be clean now, right?"

  • Repeating phrases or sequences of words either out loud or mentally

  • Rearranging objects to ensure a specific order and/or symmetry

  • Doing things in multiples; for instance, turning the light on and off five times because five is a "good" number.

Obsessions can include:
  • Fear of losing control of oneself

  • Fear of germs

  • Fear of losing or forgetting something important

  • Worrying about how straight or even things are

There are treatments for OCD. Some people benefit from behavior therapy or from medications like Zoloft.


Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, National Institute of Mental Health,

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Mayo Clinic

What is Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder?Psychiatry

Common Obsessions and Compulsions Among People With OCD, VeryWellMind

When it’s Not Just OCD, Everyday Health, Nancie George

Managing Stress When you Have OCD, VeryWellMind, Owen Kelly, PhD



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