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Habits, Mannerisms, Compulsions, and Stereotypies 

Habits, Mannerisms, Compulsions, and Stereotypies
Habits, Mannerisms, Compulsions, and Stereotypies

Roger M. Kurlan

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date: 29 July 2021

Habits are repetitive movements performed by normal people when they are bored, anxious, self-conscious, or tired. Some people carry out normal actions in a peculiar fashion, usually in an attempt to call attention to themselves. These are referred to as mannerisms. Mannerisms are particularly common in patients with schizophrenia. Compulsions are repetitive, often ritualistic actions carried out in response to an obsession, to reduce anxiety, or to avoid a future dreaded outcome. Compulsions are part of obsessive-compulsive disorder but can also be associated with other psychiatric and neurological conditions, particularly those linked to basal ganglia dysfunction, such as Tourette’s syndrome. Stereotypies are repetitive movements or sounds carried out by individuals with cognitive dysfunction or severely impaired sensory function. The cause of stereotypies is unknown, but self-stimulation has been suggested and the condition has been linked to impaired dopamine neurotransmission in the brain.

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