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Obsessive-compulsive disorder and delusions revisited

  • Anne-Marie O'Dwyer (a1) and Isaac Marks (a1)

The concept of fixed, unshakeable (delusional) beliefs within the context of obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) is one that has received varying amounts of attention in the literature, and has not yet received universal acknowledgement. There are good grounds for including these cases within the diagnostic concepts of OCD, with significant implications for clinical management.


To present cases with unusual OCD, in order to re-evaluate the issue of delusions and OCD.


The cases of five subjects with delusions in the course of obsessive–compulsive disorder are presented to illustrate ‘delusional’ OCD. The management and outcome of these cases are discussed.


Fixity and bizarreness of beliefs in OCD occur on a continuum from ‘none’ to ‘delusional intensity’ and may fluctuate within subjects.


The idea that these cases may represent a form of OCD has implications for management, as, if this is correct, they should be able to respond to appropriate behavioural and/or pharmacological strategies used in OCD.

Corresponding author
Professor I. M. Marks, Maudsley Hospital, De Crespigny Park, Denmark Hill, London SE5 8AZ
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The British Journal of Psychiatry
  • ISSN: 0007-1250
  • EISSN: 1472-1465
  • URL: /core/journals/the-british-journal-of-psychiatry
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Obsessive-compulsive disorder and delusions revisited

  • Anne-Marie O'Dwyer (a1) and Isaac Marks (a1)
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