Online test to see if you have OCD: take it now!
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD): what is it?
Obsessive-compulsive disorder is a mental disorder in which people have unwanted and repeated thoughts, feelings, images, and sensations (obsessions) and engage in behaviors or mental acts (compulsions) in response to these obsessions.
What are the symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder?
People with OCD may have any combination of obsessions and compulsions, but some of the more common symptoms include:
Fear of contamination or dirtiness
Excessive concern with order, symmetry, or exactness
Intrusive, unwanted thoughts about taboo subjects such as sex, violence, or religion
Persistent doubts about whether you have completed an important task, such as turning off the stove or locking the door
Excessive hand-washing or cleaning
Checking things over and over again, such as locks, appliances, or light switches
Counting, tapping or repeating certain words or phrases
Arranging things in a specific order or a certain way
Needing to ask for reassurance or approval
Those symptoms can vary in severity from person to person. Some people with OCD may be able to control their symptoms with self-help strategies, while others may need medication or therapy.
OCD: how to diagnose it?
If you think you might have OCD, the first step is to talk to your doctor or mental health professional. They can help you figure out if your symptoms are caused by OCD or another disorder.
To diagnose OCD, a mental health professional will likely:
Conduct a psychological evaluation. This may include a discussion of your symptoms, your family history, and your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
Recommend a physical exam. This can help rule out other conditions that may be causing your symptoms.
Recommend laboratory tests. These may also be used to rule out other conditions.
If you are diagnosed with OCD, the mental health professional will likely recommend a treatment plan. Treatment for OCD often includes a combination of medication and therapy.
Is OCD a mental health disorder?
Yes, OCD is a mental health disorder. It is important to remember that OCD is not your fault and you can’t just “snap out of it.” But with treatment, most people with OCD can get their symptoms under control and lead productive lives.
OCD: what are the causes?
The exact cause of OCD is unknown, but it is thought to involve a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
Some research suggests that OCD may be caused by changes in the levels of certain chemicals in the brain, such as serotonin. Other research suggests that OCD may be associated with a history of trauma or stress.
OCD: how is it treated?
There are several effective treatments for OCD, including medication and therapy.
The most common type of medication used to treat OCD is a class of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Examples of SSRIs include fluoxetine (Prozac), paroxetine (Paxil), and sertraline (Zoloft).
These medications work by increasing the levels of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a chemical that plays a role in mood and anxiety.
In addition to SSRIs, other types of medication may be used to treat OCD. These include tricyclic antidepressants, antipsychotics, and beta-blockers.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of therapy that is effective in treating OCD. CBT focuses on identifying and changing the thoughts and behaviors that contribute to OCD.
Exposure and response prevention (ERP) is a type of CBT that involves gradually exposing yourself to the things that trigger your OCD symptoms and then learning to resist the urge to perform compulsive behaviors.
ERP is often used in combination with medication. In some cases, it may be used as a standalone treatment.
OCD: how many people have it?
OCD affects about 1 in 100 adults. It can occur at any age, but it typically begins in childhood or adolescence.
OCD is slightly more common in women than in men. It is also more common in people with a family history of OCD or other mental health disorders.
OCD: how disabling can it be?
OCD can be a very disabling disorder. It can interfere with your ability to work, go to school, and maintain relationships.
OCD: how does it affect relationships?
OCD can have a significant impact on your relationships. The symptoms of OCD can be very distressing for both you and your loved ones.
OCD: what should you do if you have it?
If you think you may have OCD, it is important to seek professional help. A mental health professional can diagnose OCD and develop a treatment plan that is right for you.
There are many effective treatments for OCD, including medication and therapy.
OCD: can it be cured?
There is no cure for OCD, but treatment can help you manage your symptoms and improve your quality of life. With treatments, most people with OCD can live normal, productive lives.
OCD: what is the outlook?
The outlook for people with OCD is generally good. With treatment, most people can reduce their symptoms and improve their quality of life.
However, OCD can be a chronic condition, and some people may experience periods of remission (when symptoms are not active) followed by relapse (when symptoms become active again).
OCD: what are the long-term effects?
OCD can have several long-term effects. These effects can include:
Anxiety and depression
Problems at work or school
Suicidal thoughts or behaviors
The questions of the Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) test:
1. Do you have persistent and intrusive thoughts that cause you anxiety or distress?
2. Do you perform repetitive behaviors or mental rituals (compulsions) in an attempt to relieve your anxiety or distress?
3. Do your thoughts and compulsions interfere with your daily life, school, work, or relationships?
4. Are you aware that your thoughts and compulsions are unreasonable, but you feel unable to control or stop them?
5. Have you experienced any of the following about your OCD symptoms:
– Avoidance of situations or objects that trigger your OCD symptoms
– Significant distress or anxiety about your OCD symptoms
– Significant time spent performing compulsions or mental rituals (more than 1 hour per day)
– Impairment in your social, work, or academic functioning
If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions, you may have OCD. It is important to seek professional help to confirm a diagnosis and develop a treatment plan.
"Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)." National Institute of Mental Health. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, n.d. Web. 09 Apr. 2017.
"Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder." Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 01 Mar. 2017. Web. 09 Apr. 2017.
"Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder." World Health Organization. World Health Organization, n.d. Web. 09 Apr. 2017.