Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Do Not Take OCD Diagnosis Upon Yourself

Do Not Take OCD Diagnosis Upon Yourself

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a condition that most people think they are familiar with. Because of this they often feel that OCD diagnosis is simple and something a layman can do for himself. This can be a big mistake. OCD is not “finicky” behavior and “finicky” behavior is not OCD. OCD is a complicated psychological condition, even in its mildest forms, and diagnosing OCD is best left to professionals.

One of the most common mistakes made is to try and diagnose OCD through online and magazine tests. These tests are usually a series of questions which need to be answered “yes” or “no” and the results, when totaled are supposed to indicate if you, or the person being tested, has OCD. This kind of generalized test can never be accurate and that is why they usually have disclaimers at the end saying the test result should not be taken as a positive OCD diagnosis and that it is only indicative. At best, these tests can give you a general indication if further professional testing to diagnose OCD is needed. But keep in mind that there is no laboratory test that can diagnose OCD.

There Is Only One Reliable Way Of OCD Diagnosis

Since there is no exact formula or test by which an OCD diagnosis can be positively made, the diagnosis is based on a series of steps to evaluate the condition, if it exists. These can be done only by a qualified mental health professional. The first step is usually to be sure that the condition is OCD and not just worrying or brooding. This is done by evaluating if:
The symptoms cause the patient major distress
The condition or symptoms take up an unreasonable amount of time
The condition impairs the ability to work or affects relationships or normal day to day activities.
The patient knows that the compulsions he or she is suffering from are unreasonable.

If a positive OCD diagnosis is made, the severity of the condition is assessed by:
Establishing the criteria for diagnosis and measuring the severity of the condition
Evaluating the current symptoms and their severity
A clinical examination to the patient’s emotional and psychological history
Evaluating the condition on the basis of the patient’s environment, particularly the family history and current status.

OCD is a treatable condition. But the treatment depends on the severity of the problem and many other psychological issues. If you feel that you or someone close to you may have OCD, consult a specialist to get the condition diagnosed. The first step towards treating the condition is to have the presence or absence of OCD diagnosed correctly.

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