Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) (cont.)
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Exams and Tests
A diagnosis of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is based on your symptoms, medical history, and a physical exam. Your doctor may also want a mental health assessment, which is an evaluation of your emotional functioning and your ability to think, reason, and remember (cognitive functioning). A mental health assessment may include an examination of your nervous system, written or verbal tests, and laboratory tests (such as blood and urine tests) as well as a review of your appearance, mood, behavior, thinking, reasoning, memory, and ability to express yourself.
Many people with OCD live with the condition for years before being diagnosed, or they go without treatment because they are afraid or embarrassed to talk about their symptoms. Answers to three questions may help your health professional diagnose whether you have OCD:4
If your doctor suspects you have OCD, he or she will look for a full range of symptoms that will confirm the diagnosis, including:5
For a diagnosis of OCD, the obsessions or compulsions must be time-consuming (more than 1 hour a day) or greatly interfere with your normal routine at work or school and affect social activities and relationships.
Early detection and proper treatment is very important in improving the course of OCD. This disorder is often a long-lasting (chronic) condition that will need to be monitored throughout your life.
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