2. A mental illness in which patients are driven to repeat the same act; such as, washing their hands, over and over again, usually for many hours: Some compulsive disorders, as indicated in ablutomanias, are often considered to be "obsessive-compulsive psychoneuroses".
Some ablutomanias are enormously time-consuming. A woman named Beth felt compelled to wash her hands in a certain way after touching "unclean" objects; namely, from fingers to wrist, from wrist to elbow, and from elbow to upper arm, and then to repeat the performance several times until her anxiety was over. As a result, Beth's hands often became painfully raw.
Arthur had ablutomanias that involved washing in a certain ritualistic order whenever he had a bath or cleaned objects. He said, "When I wash clothes or clean anything—floor, carpet, windows, and so on—I have to clean them in a specific way to make sure I do not miss anything. I can never hurry because I would not feel that it has been done properly."