When individuals think they have OCD they could be right or they could be wrong. There are a lot of symptoms for this disorder that could be signs of other things. It's important for people to see a doctor so they can take an OCD test to find out whether or not this is a disorder they likely have. There are also quizzes available online that can be done from the comfort of home. These should not be replacements for medical advice, but they can help individuals determine if they need professional attention.
At home tests
There are going to be a lot of questions asked during an OCD test. Questions about concerns with germs will be there as will questions about keeping things in order. There will also be questions about thoughts that come to mind and regular worries that go on throughout the day. The test will move on to inquire about repetitive acts that are performed, how they make someone feel and if there is a chronic need to do them all the time. It's extremely important to answer all of these truthfully, as incorrect answers can change the results of the test.
Doctor's office tests
When at the office of a physician, they will likely give patients a number of different tests. These will help the doctor come to the proper diagnosis so they can rule out other illnesses or disorders that could be a result of the symptoms as well. The physical exam will be much like a regular checkup. The physician will check blood pressure, heart rate, height, weight and listen to the lungs and heart to make sure they are functioning properly.
The lab tests will screen individuals for things like drugs and alcohol, just so they can be ruled out for causing the symptoms to arise. The psych evaluation is one of the most important tests. This is going to be an in-depth question and answer session between the patient and doctor. Questions about thoughts, patterns, feelings and symptoms are going to be asked. Sometimes friends and family will be brought in to answer questions, but this depends on the person.
In order for this disorder to be diagnosed by a doctor, there are certain pieces of criteria that have to be met. First of all, individuals must have obsessions and compulsions that are bothersome. The patient may also need to understand that these are excessive and have no valid reason for happening. Those obsessions and compulsions also need to play a large role in the life of the patient and interfere with their daily activities or routines.
In addition to this, patients must also have other signs and symptoms. These include: recurrent thoughts, excessive worries about random things, repetitive behavior, uncalled for mental acts. Once the doctor has determined that this is the disorder, treatment is the next step. There are a variety of different treatment options that each person can explore.
Medication and psychotherapy are the most common treatments and are sometimes done simultaneously. The medications can help patients gain control of their compulsions and obsessions so they don't take over their everyday life. Antidepressants are among the most commonly prescribed because they help change brain chemistry. Some of the antidepressants that are prescribed include: Prozac, Zoloft, Anafranil and Paxil. There are other options, but these are normally tried first. The tests will help the doctor choose which medication to prescribe.
Psychotherapy is effective for many people because it retrains the mind to control thought patterns. This also helps diminish compulsive behaviors by gradually exposing the patient to the things they fear the most. There are a lot of different techniques that therapists use with their patients. Sometimes this treatment can be stressful; it varies with each person and their reasons for having the disorder.
Other treatment options are available to explore. Residential treatment and psychiatric hospitalization are both options for people who want to be watched by professionals. These put them in a safe environment where they can learn which treatments are best for them. Deep brain stimulation and ECT (electroconvulsive therapy) are other options available as well. Some individuals even try out self-help and home remedies, which can be effective.