OCD – Definition

OCD – Definition

People often wonder what the true OCD definition is and how to find and take an OCD test. This post will help you understand OCD and where and how to find and take an OCD test. a

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, often simply referred by its abbreviation “OCD” is a mental health condition that affects 2.3 percent of the global population.

About OCD

OCD has gained widespread attention, because of unusual ways the OCD symptoms manifest themselves and has been a subject of many references in popular culture. This is one of the main reasons people often wonder if they have it.

Some of our daily routines and unusual tics might be reminiscent of compulsions usually associated with the OCD. But, unlike those with unique preferences in their life, those suffering from OCD are left in a constant state of anxiety, overwhelm and fear. Not knowing that you have OCD can make all of this even worse. Therefore, the first step in recovery from OCD is determining whether or not you have OCD

How to know if it is OCD? 

Even though it still remains a challenge, years of medical studies have revealed several ways to find out if it is OCD and differentiate it from other disorders, which may be similar in the ways they show themselves. There is a wide range of compulsions person with OCD might have, ranging from washing your hands unreasonable amount of times to having intruding thoughts that are uncharacteristic for your personality. The best way to figure out if you have OCD is to take an OCD test. Here are ways you can determine if you have Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder:

Do you have unwanted intrusive thoughts?

Obsessions are unwanted, intrusive thoughts, fears, or mental images. Individuals suffering from OCD experience these thoughts. The more pervasive the OCD, the more obsessional triggers will be present throughout the day. Each individual with OCD will have different obsessional triggers that are creating anxiety. These are called sub-types of OCD. There are many different sub-types. Examples are contamination, checking, scrupulosity, relationship OCD, homosexual OCD, pedophilia OCD, religious OCD, harm OCD, and hit n run OCD.

Can you relate to any of these sub-types of OCD? Or is there another specific set of fears that are causing you anxiety?

Are you dealing with high anxiety at times? 

OCD is an anxiety disorder that creates intrusive, unwanted thoughts (obsessions). This condition constantly triggers the ‘fight or flight’ system, specifically the amygdala. When this system is triggered, our bodies are flooded with adrenalin which leads to many physical sensations that we like to call “anxiety.” Do you find that certain thoughts, fears, people, places or experiences trigger anxiety?

Are you performing compulsive behaviors? Are you avoiding certain people, places, and experiences?

As a result of having obsessions triggering anxiety, an individual with OCD will feel the need to perform compulsions. Compulsions are anyway that an individual with OCD tries to relieve, reduce, minimize, or mitigate their anxiety or fear from an obsession. Examples of compulsions are checking, counting, cleaning, seeking reassurance from others, ruminating, mental compulsions, avoidance, washing, praying, and many other avoidance behaviors. Do you relate to any of these? Are you performing any compulsions? 

Are you getting stuck doing things you know you shouldn’t be doing? 

People that suffer from OCD have moments where they recognize they shouldn’t be doing the things they’ve been doing (performing compulsive behaviors). We recognize these actions are silly when we aren’t triggered by anxiety. It’s at these moments that we bring logic and rationale into the compulsions we have been doing or the thoughts we have been having and realize they aren’t real or true. Unfortunately, once we get triggered by another obsession, we forget this and are just trying to survive. Do you realize when you do certain actions or behaviors that they are silly?  

Are you isolating yourself?

One common sign of obsessive-compulsive disorder is isolation. Some people stop going to school, hanging out with friends, lose relationships, quit their work, etc. They do this hoping that their OCD will start to leave them alone. Unfortunately, this doesn’t work. Have you been isolating yourself hoping your OCD will leave you alone or go away?

Are you dealing with depression?

Because of intrusive thoughts, high anxiety, performing compulsions we don’t want to do and isolation it is easy to see how OCD creates depression. Another issue is OCD continues to take the things they love and care about. As a result, another symptom of OCD is depression. Are your thoughts and your experience of life causing you to feel depressed? 

Have you stopped living the life you want?

OCD tends to take over someone’s world. It is not uncommon for people to give up on hopes and dreams for the future. It is not uncommon for individuals with OCD to give up on school, careers, relationships, friendships, getting married, having children, and starting a family. This usually happens because they are stuck in survival mode and don’t feel they have the capacity any longer to achieve their goals and dreams. This is another reason that getting help for OCD is so important. Not only will it support you in coming out of anxiety, compulsions, and fear, it will help you achieve the goals and dreams that you have always wanted to achieve in your life. Have you given up on any of your dreams in life?

Are you self-medicating? 

Another less spoken about thing that can happen for people with OCD is that they start self-medicating. This self-medicating can happen through many forms. Some people with OCD will use alcohol or marijuana, others will use prescription medications. Others can use relationships, and sex to try and escape their OCD. It is rare for individuals with OCD to use heavy recreational drugs.

For more information about OCD medication, visit our OCD Medication Guide.

Everyone that has OCD that is self-medicating is doing it to try and stop the intrusive thoughts. They use whatever form of self-medicating to try and numb themselves from the impact of OCD. Self-medicating usually only makes matters worse. Most people will even express how their OCD symptoms get even worse once they come down from being drunk or high. Because these individuals are just trying to numb their pain from OCD, hoping it will go away, this is another reason it is so important to get OCD treatment. Are you self-medicating hoping your intrusive thoughts will go away?

Great ways to find out if it is OCD

An Online OCD Test

If you are still wondering if you have Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, there are many ways you can figure this out. One of the easiest ways is to take an online OCD questionnaire

Self OCD Test 

One of the most common and easy practices to identify if you have OCD is to ask yourself if you are having intrusive, unwanted thoughts frequently? If you are clear on what an obsession is, are you having them? Additionally, if you are clear with what a compulsion is, ask yourself how hard is it for you to force yourself to refrain from performing these urges.

Find and Get Help from an OCD Therapist

One great way to locate a local OCD specialist is to go to the International OCD Foundation and search for a provider. This can be done by going to their website www.IOCDF.org and searching for a provider on the bottom right. Here you can enter your zip code, city, or country and see if there are any local OCD specialists in your area. Once you find one, you can make an initial appointment and they will be able to guide you with an OCD quiz, OCD obsession test, or an OCD compulsion test. They can even help you to identify which particular OCD sub-type you have with an OCD sub-type test. 

In the end, what is most important is to identify whether or not you have OCD. If it is OCD, know that there is effective treatment for OCD. For more information about what to do if you know it is OCD, see our OCD survival Guide