Is It Really Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder?

Obsessive-compulsive disorder is an anxiety disorder which can affect one’s social life and activities. One of the difficulties in the treatment of OCD is that it can be associated and confused with other disorders. This is why these OCD-related disorders are grouped together to help medical professionals diagnose and treat these problems. While some disorders have similar characteristics, they can have a very different treatment. This means that it’s crucial to get the diagnosis right to get the treatment right.

The following disorders are grouped together in a chapter in the book “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.”

Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors 

People with this kind of disorder do repetitive behaviors in response to feeling uncomfortable. They get a feeling of satisfaction when pulling their hair or picking their skin. Some use it to relieve stress. Disorders under this category are trichotillomania and dermotillomania.

Hoarding Disorder

People with this kind of disorder spend a significant amount of their time collecting and arranging items. For them, excessive collecting is not considered as a problem. In terms of treatment, they don’t respond well to traditional OCD treatments.

Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD)

People with this disorder have the tendency to check their body and the way they look repeatedly. They are so obsessed with how they look that’s why these people are very likely to undergo cosmetic surgeries.

Olfactory Reference Syndrome

From the word “olfactory”, people with this disorder are obsessed with how they smell. Repetitive behaviours and obsessions are still present, which can affect their activities of daily living.

In addition to these related disorders, some are confused with OCD as well. These disorders display common characteristics but can also be differentiated by a medical professional. Here are examples of these disorders:

Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder

Both OCD and OCPD have the characteristic of being a perfectionist. However, with OCPD, they usually have problems finishing a task because of their obsession with perfection. They typically don’t see their symptoms as a problem, unlike in OCD.¬†

Autism Spectrum Disorder

People with Autism have severe problems with social interaction. Their thoughts and behaviours focus on repeating things, while on OCD, their thoughts focus on contamination violent/sexual themes checking.

Tic Disorders/ Tourette Syndrome

The common characteristic of Tourettes and OCD is their repetitive blinking, touching, or tapping. Repeat vocal behaviours like clearing their throat are also common, while people with OCD do their repetitive actions in response to an obsession.