• Emily Stetzer / 0 comments

How Do I know If I Have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?

It's easy to overlook the possibility that OCD could be the cause of your anxiety. Most people assume they have to have to be experiencing very unusual rituals to have OCD.

When I was dealing with anxiety, I seemed to be hyper focused on certain topics, and would try to find answers to things most people didn’t care about. But I didn't even think OCD would be a possible diagnosis, even though my sister had it.
Turns out those worries were mental compulsions and they are totally invisible.

So if you suspect there might be more going on than just plain old anxiety, keep reading.


1. Do you experience repetitive, intrusive thoughts that never seem to go away?

Do you find these thoughts center around a theme?

Do you feel deeply guilty for having these thoughts?

Do you feel responsible for the safety of others?

Everyone has anxious thoughts. Most people are able to shrug them off or use logic to find a resolution. For those of us with OCD, logic and reason do not matter. We may be able to ease our mind temporarily (usually with compulsions), but there is always something that convinces us to keep worrying.


2. Do you feel the need to perform actions to deal with these obsessive thoughts?

Do you feel the need to keep repeating these behaviors?

Do you feel you need to prevent something bad from happening?

Do you notice after these actions that your anxiety goes away temporarily, but quickly comes back?

(E.g. arranging items in a specific way / washing hands over and over / checking locks or switches / checking that you haven't caused someone harm / repeatedly reviewing your memory / avoiding situations that trigger these anxieties.)


3. Do you find that these things interfere with your daily activity to an extreme?

If you find that these obsessions or compulsions are out of your control, or they take up at least an hour of your day and cause problems in your life, it's best to talk to a mental health professional.


4. Do your obsessions revolve around any of these topics?

You might experience immense distress over thoughts related to the following themes:

Contamination • Body Image • Social ruin • Hyper-Responsibility • Illness • Harm (to self or others) • Sexual Orientation • Pedophilic/Sexual Assault • Romantic Relationships • Religious or Moral Obsessions • Sensorimotor • Perfectionism • Existentialism

(This is not an all-inclusive list of the types of obsessions that someone with OCD can experience.)


5. Do any of these reminders speak to you?

I am separate from my mind
My thoughts are passing clouds
Brave the uncomfortable
Embrace uncertainty


This content is designed to support, not replace, medical or psychiatric diagnosis and treatment. Please seek professional care if you believe you may have a condition.

OCD Resource: https://iocdf.org/ocd-finding-help/



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