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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Symptoms & Diagnosis

Symptoms

Symptoms:

  • Obsessions—unwanted, repetitive, and intrusive ideas, impulses, or images
  • Compulsions—repetitive behaviors or mental acts to reduce the distress associated with obsessions

People with OCD may know that their thoughts and behaviors do not make sense. And they would like to avoid or stop them. But they are often unable to block their obsessive thoughts or compulsions.

Common obsessions:

  • Persistent fears that harm may come to self or a loved one
  • Unreasonable concern with being contaminated
  • Unacceptable religious, violent, or sexual thoughts
  • Excessive need to do things correctly or perfectly
  • Persistent worries about a tragic event

Common compulsions:

  • Excessive checking of door locks, stoves, water faucets, light switches, etc.
  • Repeatedly making lists, counting, arranging, or aligning things
  • Collecting and hoarding useless objects
  • Repeating routine actions a certain number of times until it feels just right
  • Unnecessary rereading and rewriting
  • Mentally repeating phrases
  • Repeatedly washing hands

Diagnosis

OCD is usually diagnosed through a psychiatric assessment. OCD is diagnosed when obsessions and/or compulsions either:

  • Cause a person significant distress
  • Interfere with a person’s ability to properly perform at work, school, or in relationships

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright © 2017 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.

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