neurotic paradox

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The persistence of neurotic (1) symptoms or behaviour despite their distressing qualities and the desire of the afflicted person to be rid of them. For example, a man with obsessive-compulsive disorder may wash his hands many times a day until they bleed, and may consider this behaviour unnecessary and maladaptive, or even ridiculous, yet feel compelled to continue doing it, and this appears paradoxical.

Subjects: Psychology.

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