Therapists have been diagnosing OCD for a very long time and they rely mostly on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual edition 4 which most people affectionately call, the DSM-IV. This manual is geared towards making a diagnosis so that your insurance company will pay for your treatment.
According to the DSM-IV a person can be diagnosed as having OCD or OCD Personality disorder and there is an entire list of criteria that is posed to define what this disorder does and how it should be seen.
Now that’s the official definition. An interesting turn of events has begun though that may prove interesting to those people dealing with OCD is that some students are diagnosing OCD for fun.
In fact, if they catch themselves washing their hands a lot or doing anything they have decided is “OCD”, they will say something like, “That is so OCD.” Okay, this is interesting, but is it tolerable? Is diagnosing OCD something that can be played with or should we be serious about this diagnosis?
We can say you just have to lighten up. The challenge with diagnosing OCD is that it encourages people to take things very seriously. Certainly this is a serious challenge for some people but if you can’t laugh at yourself, who can you laugh at? Why not find ways to laugh at what you do instead of making it a problem?
Some people suggest that the best way for diagnosing OCD is to say your fear out loud — sometimes just saying it out loud sounds funny and you can look at it differently.
In fact, there is a whole group called L.A.U.G.H. which stands for Learn to Accept Uncertainty and Gain Hope and they work to laugh about OCD.
Diagnosing OCD can be a blessing and a curse at the same time. You can love it, hate it or choose to sit with it and be grumpy about the process.