Olfactory Reference Syndrome Test & Symptoms

Although there is debate about whether or not Olfactory Reference Syndrome (ORS) is a form of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, ORS shares many similarities with OCD. Sufferers of ORS fear that their odor is causing people to respond negatively to them and causes ORS to include both obsessive and compulsive qualities. The obsessive qualities of ORS are the constant fear, belief, or assumption that one is emitting or has a foul, unpleasant, or offensive body odor(s). These odors can include the fear of smelling like feces, urine, sweat, garbage, onions, semen, vaginal secretions, or other odors. As a result of fearing that they are emitting one of these smells, individuals suffering from Olfactory Reference Syndrome feel the need to constantly check to see if they are emitting or have the feared body odor(s). Additional compulsive behaviors include continuously washing your clothes to ensure that you do not smell, and over-grooming or excessively bathing to prevent smelling bad. It is not uncommon for these individuals to want to avoid people, social situations, and to self-isolate and to feel shame, guilt, and embarrassment because of the perceived odor they are emitting. All of this can lead to depression for which sufferers of ORS are additionally at risk.