Diagnosing OCD

OCD or obsessive compulsive disorder is a type of anxiety disorder that is characterized by fear. People suffering from it will have intrusive thoughts and fears because of these arising thoughts. Because of the fear and the intrusive thoughts people will be forced to do certain things again and again. To find out whether a person is suffering OCD or not then the symptoms which are related to it must be known. The symptoms are classified in to two categories. These are:

  • Obsessions symptoms:
  • Fear of contamination and dirt
  • Sexual images or thoughts
  • Having things arranged orderly or symmetrical
  • Aggressive or horrifying impulses
  • Compulsive symptoms:
  • Fear of being infected with a disease by shaking hands
  • Hair loss or bald spots because of hair pulling
  • Doubts that you have locked the doors
  • Skin lesions because of picking the skin
  • Thoughts of hurting someone by accident
  • Avoidance of the situations that can trigger obsessions, such as shaking hands.

If any person is seen with these symptoms then they must be taken to the hospital where they can be diagnosed with OCD. The diagnosis should be done by a well-trained therapist or doctor.

OCD Diagnosis

If the doctor thinks that you might have OCD they will run some tests and perform exams in order to confirm whether you have it or not. The tests and exams are:

Physical exams

Physical exams like measuring the height and the weight, the heart rate and the blood pressure and the temperature will be done. The vital signs will be checked. Even examining the abdomen will be done as part of these physical exams

Laboratory tests

Usually, the doctor will perform a blood test, blood count, and screening for alcohol and drugs. Also there will be a thyroid function check.

Psychological evolution

The doctor will talk to the patient to find out about their thoughts and feelings and behavioral patterns. Also the doctor will ask about the symptoms which are experienced by the individual. They will also ask some questions about the onset of the symptoms and how severe they were when they came. In some cases the doctor will also have a conversation with the patient’s family and friends. This will help them learn more about the patient.

Diagnostic criteria for OCD

There are some criteria which must be met by the patient in order for them to be diagnosed with the condition. These are:

  • The patient must have had obsessions or compulsions
  • The obsessions and compulsions should have interfered with their daily routine
  • They must have realized that the obsessions and compulsions  are unreasonable
  • The obsession is determined based on three criteria:
  • Persistent obsessive thoughts
  • You must think the thoughts are the product of your own mind
  • You try to ignore or suppress these thoughts, images or impulses
  • The compulsion is determined based on these criteria:
  • Repetitive behavior that you feel driven to perform
  • The behaviors and the mental acts should prevent or reduce distress.

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