The term compulsion is used most often in relation to the study of human conduct . Generally speaking, compulsion is the uncontrollable desire to do something. In other words, it can be said that it is obsession with something or excessive repetition. In the everyday use of language we can make certain statements such as the following: “You feel a compulsion for alcohol” or “Your compulsion for sex can bring you social problems”. It is obvious that this type of behavior is anomalous and that is why it is studied by Psychology .
The idea of compulsion is also expressed with the term “compulsive behavior”, thus it is usually applied to traditional addictions such as tobacco, alcohol, sex and food or in relation to some mental disorders.
When the manias turn into an uncontrolled obsession, the individual who suffers from this condition usually also has anxiety and agitation. A person suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder may repeat an action several times, for example, washing hands fifty times a day or taking extreme measures on an ongoing basis to avoid contamination.
Specialists in this type of disorder consider that the most common feature in most cases is the repetition of an action. Another feature is to perform something as if it were a ritual. Generally, those who suffer from this problem do not seek pleasure, but repetition to reduce discomfort. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) can be alleviated through therapy or the use of medication.
Compulsion in Freudian Psychoanalysis
Psychoanalysis is a branch of psychology that has its own view of the human condition, the mental structures of the individual, and certain specific aspects of human nature: the role of sexuality or the unconscious. Psychoanalysis can make a significant contribution to the compulsion.
Psychoanalysis as a theory estimates that compulsive behavior obeys an idea: the consideration on the part of the individual with this disorder for committing a great sin or crime. For most psychoanalysts, obsessive repetition or unwarranted ritual is an unconscious way of self-punishing the people who have committed such a crime.
According to psychoanalysis, the acts typical of obsessional neurosis in the form of compulsion are everyday actions that unconsciously intend to erase a feeling of guilt. This feeling of guilt that tries to be erased with repetition is aimed at the father figure because it symbolizes the imposition of social norms and, at the same time, it is a rival that prevents the direct relationship between the child and the mother.