The Obsessed Patient

A patient who is suffering from obsessions must carry out certain

abnormal actions, or be wretched. She cannot do otherwise. It is as

though she were forced by some outside agent, though the forcing is

actually from within. When the nurse realizes this, and the more

essential fact--that many patients, who have not true obsessions, yet

have a tendency toward obsessed ways of thinking and doing--when she

comprehends it almost as she would if she were the victim, then she is

ready to help the patient by gently making the action impossible, and at

the same time diverting attention.