Steps to help diagnose OCD may include:

  • Physical exam. This may be done to help rule out other problems that could be causing your symptoms and to check for any related complications.
  • Lab tests. These may include, for example, a complete blood count (CBC), a check of your thyroid function, and screening for alcohol and drugs.
  • Psychological evaluation. This includes discussing your thoughts, feelings, symptoms and behavior patterns. With your permission, this may include talking to your family or friends.
  • Diagnostic criteria for OCD. Your doctor may use criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), published by the American Psychiatric Association.

Diagnostic challenges

It's sometimes difficult to diagnose OCD because symptoms can be similar to those of obsessive-compulsive personality disorder, anxiety disorders, depression, schizophrenia or other mental health disorders. And it's possible to have both OCD and another mental disorder. Work with your doctor so that you can get the appropriate diagnosis and treatment.