A newly admitted patient with obsessive-compulsive disorder spends most of the day counting her possessions repeatedly. The nurse allows this behavior to continue because:
•Obsessive and compulsive acts are used to cope with stress and provide the patient with relief from anxiety.
•A patient will feel mounting tension until they are able to perform the act they feel compelled to do (ritualistic behavior), which may vary from hand washing to counting to checking a locked door or other examples, but once they complete the action, the tension resolves, minimizing the feeling of anxiety.
•Incorrect: The other answer choices do not correctly explain the need for the patient to behave in this way.