It is very important you visit your Doctor if you have symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). The impact of OCD on your day-to-day life can be reduced if the condition is diagnosed and effectively treated.
There is nothing to feel ashamed or embarrassed about OCD. It is a chronic (long-term) health condition like diabetes or asthma.
These four steps will help you to diagnose OCD:
First Step: Initial screening
Your doctor will ask you a series of questions. These questions will help determine whether you are likely to have OCD or not:
- Do you wash or clean a lot?
- Do you check things a lot?
- Do you have thoughts that keep bothering you that you would like to get rid of but cannot?
- Do your daily activities take a long time to finish?
- Are you concerned about putting things in a special order or are you upset by mess?
- Do these problems trouble you?
Second Step: Assessment
If your initial screening questions suggest that you have OCD, your symptoms will be assessed either by your doctor or mental health professional.
The assessment involves asking more questions to find out how much of your day-to-day life is affected by obsessive-compulsive thoughts and behavior. During the assessment, it is important you are open and honest, it will ensure you receive the most appropriate treatment.
Third Step: Severity of OCD
OCD is classified into three levels of severity, they are:
- Mild functional impairment – obsessive thinking and compulsive behavior that occupies less than one hour of your day
- Moderate functional impairment – obsessive thinking and compulsive behavior that occupies one to three hours of your day
- Severe functional impairment – obsessive thinking and compulsive behavior that occupies more than three hours of your day
Fourth Step: Getting help for others
The friends and relatives of a person with OCD sometimes “play along” with their strange behavior to avoid upsetting them.
However, this is not recommended because it can reinforce a person’s obsessive-compulsive behavior. It is better to confront them with the reality of their unusual behavior and suggest they seek medical advice.
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