If something is caused by a physical or mental disease, it is pathological. Someone with a pathological compulsion for cleanliness might scrub the floors for hours every night.
Pathological comes from a Greek word, pathologikos, which means “treating of diseases” — pathos means "suffering." Anyone who studies or works with diseases, from their causes to their symptoms, identifies how the disease affects its victims, in other words, its pathological effects. Remember that this is a medical distinction. If a person has, for example, obsessive-compulsive disorder, his or her repetitive actions are pathological.