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A Quick Screening Test for OCD

The following is adapted from a self-test for OCD by Tom Corboy, MFT of the OCD Center of Los Angeles and is used with his permission. It is based on the Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale (YBOCS), and is not meant to replace a thorough evaluation by a mental health professional. It may, however, help you to get a better idea of whether or not you may have Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.

1. Do you often have repetitive, intrusive, unwanted thoughts that upset you or make you anxious, and that you can't get out of your mind no matter how much you try?

2. Do you worry excessively about speaking, thinking, or acting in a manner that you think is harmful, violent, sexually inappropriate, immoral, or sacrilegious?

3. Do you repeatedly ruminate about unwanted thoughts in an effort to reassure yourself that you will not act in a manner that you think is harmful, violent, sexually inappropriate, immoral, or sacrilegious?

4. Do you often feel you have to repeat certain phrases or prayers in an effort to rid yourself of unwanted thoughts or to ensure that nothing bad happens?

5. Do you often repeat routine, daily activities to ensure that you did not harm someone (e.g., checking your rear-view mirror or driving back to a certain place in the road to reassure yourself that you did not run over a pedestrian)?

6. Do you wash your hands or shower more often, or for longer periods of time than most other people?

7. Do you excessively clean things (e.g., clothes, towels, bed sheets, household items, car interior, furniture, etc.)?

8. Do you repeatedly visually check to be sure you have properly performed a just-completed task (e.g., looking to be sure you have signed a check, re-opening a mailbox to be sure you have deposited a letter, etc.)?

9. Do you often repeat routine behaviors (e.g., locking doors, turning off light switches, turning off stove burners, etc.) because you're not sure you have done these behaviors or done them "just right"?

10. Do you frequently ask others for reassurance that tasks have been properly completed (e.g., "Did you wash your hands?" "Did I lock the door?" "Did you shut the windows?" etc.)

11. Do you repeatedly ask others for reassurance that things are all right or that you haven't done something "wrong," "bad," or harmful?

12. Do you unnecessarily arrange, order, or tidy the contents of your desk, closets, cabinets, refrigerator, bookshelves, etc., in an effort to make them symmetrical or "just right"?

13. Do you unnecessarily straighten common household objects such as window blinds or rugs in an effort to make them symmetrical or "just right"?

14. Do you repeatedly count things that don't really merit counting (e.g., ceiling tiles, books, clothes, light poles, cars, the number of times you do something, etc.)?

15. Do you mentally review conversations and other events in an effort to determine if they went OK?

16. Do you have superstitions, such as having "lucky" or "unlucky" numbers?

If you answered "yes" to ANY of the above questions, you may have Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. If the severity of your symptoms is low, you may not need treatment. If your symptoms interfere significantly with your life or are sufficiently troublesome, however, you should consider getting an evaluation by a mental health professional trained and experienced in the assessment of OCD.

Please note that the self-test above is not meant to replace a complete and thorough evaluation by a mental health professional.