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What Does OCD Look Like in Adults?

If you think your unwanted obsessions, rituals, or daily anxiety might be due to obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), watch this self-test video to learn the common symptoms.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is characterized by intrusive obsessions and all-consuming compulsions, and its impact on the lives of those who have it can be devastating.

In many cases, people with OCD are embarrassed about their symptoms, or unsure if diagnosable OCD is really the root cause. Others, even if they accept that they have OCD symptoms, believe they can control them with “willpower.” This isn’t true — no amount of willpower can cure a mental illness.

To manage your symptoms, you first must recognize that they exist, are impacting your daily life, and are not your fault. If you think you might be showing signs of OCD, start by watching this video.

What Does OCD Look Like in Adults?

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) affects at least 1 in every 100 adults.

OCD is characterized by 3 features:

  1. Obsessions: unwanted thoughts or urges
  2. Compulsions: repetitive behaviors or thoughts used to neutralize a negative feeling
  3. Anxiety: excessive uneasiness or apprehension

The condition is often stereotyped as:

  • Extreme cleanliness
  • Perfectionism
  • Germ-o-phobia

The reality is that OCD is much more complex, serious, and nuanced.

If you think you might show signs of OCD, answer these self-test questions.

  1. Do you get caught up making sure things are in their proper order?
  2. Do you have intrusive thoughts that feel out of your control?
  3. Do you have grooming rituals like washing your hands five times in a row?
  4. Do you worry you might spread a disease, even if you have never had it?
  5. Do you check to make sure the coffee pot is off over and over before leaving the house?
  6. Do you have upsetting mental images of death or destruction?
  7. Do you avoid certain colors or numbers because you view them as “unlucky?”
  8. Do you repeat routine actions – like getting into bed – until it “feels right?”
  9. Do you collect “useless” objects?
  10. Do you worry about unlikely natural disasters, or harm coming to someone you love?

If you agreed with a majority of these statements, you may have some characteristics that resemble OCD. Take your results to a healthcare professional and request an evaluation.

This self-test video is not intended to diagnose or replace the care of a healthcare professional. An accurate diagnosis can only be made through a clinical evaluation. For personal use only.

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