Mild to Uncontrollable
Millions of people suffer from one form of compulsive behavior or another. Some common activities that can develop into compulsions include shopping, hoarding, eating, gambling, sex, exercise, and body-focused behaviors, such as hair-pulling and skin-picking. In fact, any behavior has the potential of becoming a full-blown obsession. Some people even talk compulsively, where their incessant chatter sometimes reaches a point of inappropriateness. And, of course, there’s garden-variety obsessive compulsiveness; a hallmark example is the person who checks and rechecks everything—is the stove turned off, is the door locked? A compulsive person performs these behaviors to relieve underlying anxieties or negative emotions. While the behavior doesn't necessarily lead to any end pleasure or reward, the compulsive person engages in the behavior anyway, for temporary relief. In extreme cases, compulsive behaviors start to rule the sufferer’s work, home, and social life at the expense of normal activities.