Differential Diagnosis & Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Differential diagnosis requires distinguishing OCD from other psychiatric disorders. Psychiatric disorders that, at first, may feature symptoms similar to OCD include the following:

  • Major depressive disorder
  • Other anxiety disorders
  • Eating disorders (e.g., anorexia, bulimia)
  • Alcoholism or other substance-related disorders
  • Tourette's syndrome
  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Specific phobia
  • Schizophrenic delusions

All of these conditions are differentiated from OCD by type and severity of symptoms. For example, although schizophrenic delusions may resemble obsessions common in OCD, people experiencing delusions do not have insight into their content. They believe the delusions involve external influence and are not the product of their own mind. Some of these disorders may occur with OCD.

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

Published: 31 Jan 2001

Last Modified: 28 Sep 2015