OCD Diagnosis

There is no laboratory test for OCD. Diagnosis is made using the following:

  • Close clinical examination of emotional past
  • Criteria for diagnosis
  • Evaluation of current symptoms
  • Differential diagnosis
  • Examination of family history

OCD can be mild or severe. There are four essential factors in the diagnosis of OCD that distinguish OCD from ordinary, mildly intrusive worries or brooding. They are the following:

  1. Symptoms cause significant distress
  2. Symptoms take up more than 1 hour a day
  3. Symptoms significantly interfere with work, relationships, or daily functioning
  4. The person recognizes that his or her obsessions and compulsions are unreasonable or excessive

Publication Review By: Stanley J. Swierzewski, III, M.D.

Published: 31 Jan 2001

Last Modified: 28 Sep 2015