Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders

 

Learn more about the symptoms of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Body Dysmorphic Disorder, Hoarding Disorder, Trichotillomania (Hair-Pulling Disorder), and Excoriation (Skin-Picking) Disorder.  The most common treatments for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder are psychotherapy and antidepressants.


Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

A. Presence of obsessions, compulsions, or both:

Obsession are defined by (1) and (2):

  1. Recurrent and persistent thoughts, urges, or images that are experienced as intrusive and unwanted, and that in most individuals cause significant anxiety or distress.
  2. The individual attempts to suppress or ignore such thoughts, urges or images, or to neutralize them with some other thought or actions (such as performing a compulsion).

Compulsions are defined by (1) and (2):

  1. Repetitive behaviors (such as hand washing, checking, ordering) or mental acts (such as counting, praying, repeating words silently) that the individual feels driven to perform in response to an obession or according to rules that must be followed rigidly.
  2. The behaviors or mental acts are aimed at preventing or reducing anxiety or distress, or preventing some dreaded situation or event, even though these behavior or mental acts are excessive and not realistically connected to what they are trying to prevent.

B. The obsessions or compulsions are time-consuming (more than one hour per day) or cause significant distress or impairment in work, social or other important areas of functioning.

C. The obsessive-compulsive symptoms cannot be attributed to any substance, medication, or other medical or mental condition

Body Dysmorphic Disorder

  •  Preoccupation with one or more perceived defects or flaws in physical appearance that are not observable or seem minor to others.
  • The individual has performed repetitive behaviors (such as mirror checking, excessive grooming, reassurance seeking, skin picking) in response to the appearance concerns.
  • The preoccupation causes significant distress or impairment in work, social or other important areas of functioning.
  •  The appearance preoccupation is not better explained by concerns with body fat or weight in individuals with an eating disorder.

Hoarding Disorder

  • Persistent difficulty throwing away or parting with possessions, regardless of their actual value.
  • This difficulty is due to a perceived need to save the items and to significant distress when throwing them away.
  • The difficulty throwing away possessions results in the accumulation of possessions that clutter and congest living areas, making them difficult to use.
  • The hoarding causes significant distress or impairment in work, social or other important areas of functioning.
  • The hoarding cannot be attributed to any substance, medication, or other medical or mental condition.

Trichotillomania (Hair-Pulling Disorder)

  • Recurrent pulling out of one’s hair, resulting in hair loss.
  • Unsuccessful attempts to decrease or stop hair pulling.
  • The hair pulling causes significant distress or impairment in work, social or other important areas of functioning.
  • The hair pulling cannot be attributed to any substance, medication, or other medical or mental condition.

Excoriation (Skin-Picking) Disorder

  • Recurrent skin picking that results in skin lesions.
  • Repeated attempts to stop or decrease skin picking.
  • The skin picking causes significant distress or impairment in work, social or other important areas of functioning.
  • The skin picking cannot be attributed to any substance, medication, or other medical or mental condition.
 

The above criteria are adapted from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).