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    Recurrent and persistent thought, impulse, or image experienced as intrusive and distressing. Recognized as being excessive and unreasonable even though it is the product of one's mind. This thought, impulse, or image cannot be expunged by logic or reasoning.


Marked by a need to repeatedly perform certain behaviors or rituals.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
A type of anxiety disorder marked by the persistent intrusion of unwanted and uncontrollable thoughts. Commonly, patients who suffer from obsessions also suffer from compulsions - repeated, senseless rituals victims go through in an attempt to reduce their anxiety. While compulsive behavior is almost always preceded by obsessive thoughts, some people have obsessive thoughts but do not ritualize.


Outer segment
Portion of the photoreceptor cell that contains photopigment.

Deficiency of hemoglobin in the blood.

Tumor of bone.

Inflammation of bone.

Object relations
The emotional bonds between one person and another, as contrasted with interest in and love for the self; usually described in terms of capacity for loving and reacting appropriately to others. Melanie Klein is generally credited with founding the British object-relations school.


Oedipal stage
Overlapping some with the phallic stage, this phase (ages 4 to 6) represents a time of inevitable conflict between the child and parents. The child must desexualize the relationship to both parents in order to retain affectionate kinship with both of them. The process is accomplished by the internalization of the images of both parents, thereby giving more definite shape to the child's personality. With this internalization largely completed, the regulation of self-esteem and moral behavior comes from within.

Oedipus complex
Attachment of the child to the parent of the opposite sex, accompanied by envious and aggressive feelings toward the parent of the same sex. These feelings are largely repressed (i.e., made unconscious) because of the fear of displeasure or punishment by the parent of the same sex. In its original use, the term applied only to the boy or man.

Olfactory hallucination
A hallucination involving the perception of odor, such as of burning rubber or decaying fish.

Pertaining to the development of the individual.

Operant conditioning
A process by which the results of the person's behavior determine whether the behavior is more or less likely to occur in the future.

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