DSM-5 (APA, 2013) diagnostic criteria include:
To receive an OCD diagnosis, you must meet these general criteria:
- You must have obsessions and compulsions
- The obsessions and compulsions must significantly impact your daily life
- You may or may not realize that your obsessions and compulsions are excessive or unreasonable
Your obsessions must meet specific criteria:
- Intrusive, repetitive and persistent thoughts, urges, or images that cause distress
- The thoughts do not just excessively focus on real problems in your life
- You unsuccessfully try to suppress or ignore the disturbing thoughts, urges, or images
- You may or may not know that your mind simply generates these thoughts and that they do not pose a true threat
Your compulsions must meet specific criteria:
- Excessive and repetitive ritualistic behavior that you feel you must perform, or something bad will happen. Examples include hand washing, counting, silent mental rituals, checking door locks, etc.
- The ritualistic compulsions take up a least one hour or more per day
- You perform these physical rituals or mental acts to reduce the severe anxiety caused by the obsessive thoughts.