Are you a bit anal-retentive, or do you have a full-blown case of obsessive-compulsive disorder? Here's how to know the difference.
You will need
- Medical checkup
Step 1 Rate your anxiety Rate your anxiety level. Many people are worrywarts, but OCD sufferers have persistent and disturbing thoughts, images, and impulses that they can’t suppress.
Step 2 Look for a pattern Ask yourself if your obsessions have a theme. Common ones include an intense fear of germs; needing things to be symmetrical in order to feel calm; and violent or sexual thoughts you can’t control.
Step 3 Consider how you handle your fears Consider how you handle your obsession. People with OCD try to control their worries or distressing impulses with rituals like constant hand-washing, counting in certain patterns, cleaning excessively, double-checking for safety hazards, and making sure objects are aligned.
Most adults with OCD recognize that their rituals are out of the ordinary, but most children with the disorder do not.
Step 4 Weigh how much your rituals interfere with your life Weigh how much your rituals interfere with your life. OCD sufferers spend more than an hour a day performing their repetitive behaviors. Some are so controlled by their compulsions that they interfere with their ability to hold a job or sustain a relationship.
Step 5 Get diagnosed See a doctor if you suspect you have OCD. A combination of medication and therapy can relieve symptoms in most sufferers.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder affects 2.2 million American adults.