"Success isn't just about what you accomplish in your life, it's about what you inspire others to do."
"Perhaps Karen's greatest strength is her personal understanding of OCD. Having suffered and got control over both contamination and harm OCD, Karen really knows how we OCD sufferers feel. It was inspirational to hear her describe how her OCD used to control her and how she got control. Her OCD is very similar to mine, and it was really helpful to hear my thought processes said aloud to me. Doing ERP with her is easier because you know she never underestimates your fears and therefore the courage you are using to face them." (Anne)

Do I have OCD?

It is currently ‘in vogue’ to call your tidy, neat checking behaviour OCD. This I have to say is something real OCD sufferers find very irritating and dismissing of the true disabling extent of the condition.

To add to the confusion there is another similar named personality disorder that often gets missed diagnosed as OCD. Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD) is a behaviour condition which enables the effected person to stay in control of their surroundings. People with OCPD really like their obsessive tidiness or inflexible behaviours as it gives them a feeling of satisfaction and control. So the way to distinguish if you are suffering from OCPD or OCD is to ask yourself. Do I enjoy and receive satisfaction from my behaviours or do I have to do them as a result of the feared consequences if I don’t? People who experience OCD generally hate having to do their compulsions/ behaviours but perform them to stop anything terrible from happening. People with OCPD like doing their compulsions/behaviours because it gives them a sense of control.

Here is a check list of symptoms that may enable you to distinguish if you have OCD or just some traits of OCD.

  • Do your compulsions/rituals take up more than an hour a day and they are distressing to you?

  • If you don’t perform your rituals do you feel anxious that something terrible may happen?

  • Are you overly concerned about safety to yourself and or others?

  • Do you check a lot then doubt that you have checked properly?

  • Do you fear causing any harm to innocent people?

  • Do you fear losing control and acting out something that is completely abhorrent and objectionable to you?

  • Do you feel an overriding sense of duty to keep others safe?

  • Do you worry about losing your mind?

  • Do you fear being around people, children, animals in fear that you may lose control and act out on an intrusive thought or feeling?

  • Do you question and doubt your own sexuality?

  • Do you experience unfounded doubts about your partner?

  • Do you overanalyse people and situations and find it hard to move on?

  • Do you find yourself locked into a ruminative state, which continues to cause distress, fear, doubt and anxiousness?

  • Do you avoid, people, places and things that remind you of something you fear?

  • Do you have lucky or unlucky numbers, words, images, clothes, days, colours etc

  • Do you giving meaning to meaningless things?

  • Do you fear for your health and or the health of your loved ones?

  • Do you find it hard to discard what others perceive as junk?

  • Do you have thoughts, ideas, and doubts about having committed a crime without a clear memory and no evidence to support it?

  • Do you have an exaggerated fear of foods, chemicals, dirt, bodily fluids, medication and alcohol?

If you have answered yes to any of the above and it takes up more than an hour of your day and you are very distressed by it, then it likely that you may be suffering from OCD. To get a formal diagnosis you must see a mental health expert via your doctor like a psychologist or psychiatrist who will do a further examination of your presenting situation.

I would also like to add, although you may be scared and shamed by your thoughts, feelings and experience, please don’t be. The above questions are typical to the disorder and are neither exhaustive nor complete. Real mental health experts understand OCD and will not judge you by your intrusions. They understand the thoughts, images and ideas are symptoms of your condition, not you. The most important thing is to recognise the condition as a disorder which is both treatable and manageable. The sooner you reach out for help the sooner you will be on the road to recovery.


Contact Us

OCD Therapy Clinic
42, Tidcombe Lane,
Devon. EX16 4EQ




0781 2067192