Self diagnosing a mental health disorder such as obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is extremely difficult. You might be concerned that there is something wrong, but unless you undergo a diagnostic interview with a qualified mental health professional, you are unlikely to receive a firm diagnosis. Consequently, knowing how to tell if you have OCD is a tricky problem as the symptoms can sometimes occur as a result of another underlying health issue.
How to tell if you have OCD?
The symptoms of OCD rarely happen overnight. In most cases, the symptoms of OCD gradually worsen over time and it is only with the benefit of hindsight that you are able to recognise the early onset of the illness.
What are the symptoms of OCD?
Obsessive compulsive disorder is a mental health problem characterised by obsessions and compulsions. The obsessions can take many forms, but typical types of obsessive behaviour include a fear of germs or repeatedly checking to see if electrical appliances have been switched off. The patterns of compulsive behaviour are usually linked to the obsessions and they tend to occur as a way of dealing with the obsessive thoughts and behavioural patterns. For example, somebody with an obsessive fear of germs might begin washing their hands repeatedly as a way of finding relief from their fear of contamination.
Discovering how to tell if you have OCD often takes the form of research into the illness. Many sufferers of OCD suspect there is something wrong, but they are not sure what, so they begin to do their own research in an attempt to find out what might be causing their distressing symptoms.
There are plenty of resources available to help people suffering from OCD and if you suspect you might have the illness, it can help to read up on the possible symptoms before you seek further advice from your doctor.
Filling out a symptom questionnaire is a good way of evaluating your symptoms and although it will not be able to give you a definitive diagnosis, it can be a useful first step in seeking help. Online questionnaires will cover all the OCD symptom areas and all you need to do is tick the symptoms that you think apply to your particular situation. Once you have filled in the form, you will be invited to print off the results and share them with a mental health professional in order to progress to the next stage and receive appropriate treatment for your condition.
But despite the availability of information out in the public realm, a large number of people suffering from the symptoms of OCD fail to seek help for their problem. This is often because the symptoms lead to the sufferer becoming isolated from their friends. There can be a great deal of embarrassment attached to the illness, but even though the patient might be concerned that the bizarre obsessions and compulsions associated with OCD might seem ridiculous to outsiders, such symptoms should nevertheless be considered serious enough to warrant medical help.