A newly admitted patient with obsessive-compulsive disorder spends most of the day counting their 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.

• As treatment progresses interventions are geared towards limiting ritualistic behavior and involving the patient in other activities.

• Incorrect: The other answer choices do not correctly explain the need for the patient to behave in this way.

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