6 doctors weighed in:

What is the difference between wanting something really badly and having a compulsion?

6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Timothy Re
Clinical Psychology
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Somewhat alike

A compulsion is a repetitive behavior that is in response to a thought or urge.
The implication is that it is powerful and very difficult to resist. Compulsions can be unwanted or intrusive and tend to feel out of control.

In brief: Somewhat alike

A compulsion is a repetitive behavior that is in response to a thought or urge.
The implication is that it is powerful and very difficult to resist. Compulsions can be unwanted or intrusive and tend to feel out of control.
Dr. Timothy Re
Dr. Timothy Re
Thank
Dr. Robert Stewart
Clinical Psychology
1 doctor agrees

In brief: It's the intensity

Of the distress.
A compulsion (behavior) or obsession (thought) comes with intense anxiety & distress. Wanting something really badly or having a goal usually feels more positive and motivating & is something you think is good for you. If you get what you want, you feel good. A compulsive action is never satisfying, it just keeps repeating & the distress continues.

In brief: It's the intensity

Of the distress.
A compulsion (behavior) or obsession (thought) comes with intense anxiety & distress. Wanting something really badly or having a goal usually feels more positive and motivating & is something you think is good for you. If you get what you want, you feel good. A compulsive action is never satisfying, it just keeps repeating & the distress continues.
Dr. Robert Stewart
Dr. Robert Stewart
Thank
2 comments
Dr. Pamela Pappas
Great answer, Dr. Stewart!
Dr. Alan Ali
Indeed, yes.
Dr. Donald Hazlett
Psychiatry

In brief: Function!

All of us at times want something "badly".
How we get it, or how we try to get it and don't succeed but keep trying- no matter the cost in time, money and any destruction it causes to our lives-is the difference. Generally compulsions carried to extremes drive us to do the same thing again and again and expect the results to change. That's a malfunction!

In brief: Function!

All of us at times want something "badly".
How we get it, or how we try to get it and don't succeed but keep trying- no matter the cost in time, money and any destruction it causes to our lives-is the difference. Generally compulsions carried to extremes drive us to do the same thing again and again and expect the results to change. That's a malfunction!
Dr. Donald Hazlett
Dr. Donald Hazlett
Thank
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