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OCD Diagnosis

Updated 23-Jan-2016

Contamination Fears
Pure Obsessions

This is a new page that I'll try to expand more fully as time goes on.

"To be considered clinically significant, the obsessions or compulsions must cause significant distress or interfere with the person's social or role functioning and must occupy more than an hour per day. This however is only a general guideline to recognizing the symptoms of OCD, since even those with chronic OCD usually have a waxing and waning course (i.e., OCD symptoms are not evident on a daily basis for a set amount of hours)."

Stanford School of Medicine - OCD Research - OCD Diagnosis


Contamination Fears

Contamination fears are the most common type of OCD and, with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), one of the most easily treatable. People who suffer from contamination fears are associated in the public mind with germaphobes, but potential contaminants encompass a much wider range of things than just germs. Contamination fears are particularly insidious in that an object touched by a contaminant itself becomes contaminated, and so on and so on.



Also see the films, Housekeeping and Unstrung Heroes, and numerous television shows about hoarding under Arts/Entertainment/Media.


Pure Obsessions

"Pure Obsessions" is considered by some as different than OCD in that there are no visible compulsions. However, from my own experience, sufferers use internal compulsions (i.e., mental rituals) to counteract the obsessions. ("Pure-O Defined and Described confirms my understanding.) Consequently, in my unprofessional opinion, pure obsessions can be treated by the usual methods for treating OCD.

Alex Measday  /  E-mail