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Psychotherapy High Wycombe - Last updated 17 October 2019

DSM Online - Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders

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DSM-IV: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Obsessive compulsive disorder is an Anxiety Disorder characterized by complaints of persistent or repetitive thoughts (obsessions)or behaviors (compulsions). The person feels compelled to continue despite an awareness that the thoughts or behaviors may be excessive or inappropriate, and feels distress if they stop them. (This is in contrast to "addictive" behaviors which produce pleasure or gratification.)

Diagnostic criteria for 300.3 Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder


(Warning!)

A. Either obsessions or compulsions:

Obsessions as defined by (1), (2), (3), and (4):

(1) recurrent and persistent thoughts, impulses, or images that are experienced, at some time during the disturbance, as intrusive and inappropriate and that cause marked anxiety or distress
(2) the thoughts, impulses, or images are not simply excessive worries about real-life problems
(3) the person attempts to ignore or suppress such thoughts, impulses, or images, or to neutralize them with some other thought or action
(4) the person recognizes that the obsessional thoughts, impulses, or images are a product of his or her own mind (not imposed from without as in thought insertion)

Compulsions as defined by (1) and (2):

(1) repetitive behaviors (e.g. hand washing, ordering, checking) or mental acts (e.g. praying, counting, repeating words silently) that the person feels driven to perform in response to an obsession, or according to rules that must be applied rigidly
(2) the behaviors or mental acts are aimed at preventing or reducing distress or preventing some dreaded event or situation; however, these behaviors or mental acts either are not connected in a realistic way with what they are designed to neutralize or prevent or are clearly excessive

B. At some point during the course of the disorder, the person has recognized that the obsessions or compulsions are excessive or unreasonable. Note: This does not apply to children.

C. The obsessions or compulsions cause marked distress, are time consuming (take more than 1 hour a day), or significantly interfere with the person's normal routine, occupational (or academic) functioning, or usual social activities or relationships.

D. If another Axis I disorder is present, the content of the obsessions or compulsions is not restricted to it (e.g. preoccupation with food in the presence of an Eating Disorders; hair pulling in the presence of Trichotillomania; concern with appearance in the presence of Body Dysmorphic Disorder; preoccupation with drugs in the presence of a Substance Use Disorder; preoccupation with having a serious illness in the presence of Hypochondriasis; preoccupation with sexual urges or fantasies in the presence of a Paraphilia; or guilty ruminations in the presence of Major Depressive Disorder).

E. The disturbance is not due to the direct physiological effects of a substance (e.g. a drug of abuse, a medication) or a general medical condition.

Specify if:
With Poor Insight: if, for most of the time during the current episode the person does not recognize that the obsessions and compulsions are excessive or unreasonable

Based on the Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition APA

Also: OCD, O-C D, Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder

Research sources

Sorry, no results found

The online Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders lists most of the major psychological disorders and illnesses and lists the criteria that must be fulfilled in order for a diagnosis to be made. This resource is not a substitute for proper professional psychiatric diagnosis.



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Last Updated 17 October 2019 ()