When I talk about OCD, I typically start with defining it. “It’s all in the name,” I say. “Obsessive. Compulsive. Disorder.”
OCD causes unwanted, intrusive, repeated thoughts that induce intense anxiety.
To alleviate the anxiety, an OCD sufferer performs some action or ritual.
The obsessions and compulsions cause harm and anxiety and disrupt daily life.
When someone asks me, “Do I have OCD?” I ask for their story and listen for all three parts.
Note: sometimes compulsions are a little harder to recognize because they might be internal and hard to see, but they’re there– I’m what’s called a “Pure-O,” but I still have(/had, thanks to ERP!) compulsions such as seeking reassurance, confession, and repetitive prayer.