New Definition Of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

The definition of obsessive-compulsive disorder (ODC) has recently changed within the field of psychiatry.

In the new, fifth version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), or DSM-5, published by the American Psychiatric Association, the chapter on anxiety disorders no longer includes OCD. Rather, the DSM-5 has created a new chapter specifically outlining “Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders.”

Why a New Chapter for OCD?

The new chapter reflects increasing evidence that obsessive-compulsive and other disorders are related to one another in terms of diagnostic validators. These other disorders now considered obsessive-compulsive disorders include hoarding disorder, excoriation (skin-picking) disorder, trichotillomania (hair-pulling) disorder, substance- or medication-induced obsessive-compulsive and related disorder, and obsessive-compulsive and related disorder due to another medical condition.

What Is OCD?

More than 2.2 million Americans suffer from OCD, according to the National Institute of Mental health. It is a disorder in which people suffer from persistent, ongoing obsessions that interfere with every day life.

Some people with OCD use what are called “rituals” to control the anxiety that their obsessions produce. For example, if a person is obsessed with germs, the ritual may be the need to wash his or her hands over and over. Other common rituals include the need to touch things in a particular sequence and the need to count things over and over.

While many people have certain rituals they follow, such as checking to see if their car door is locked or clicking the alarm button a few times as they walk away, people with OCD lose control to the point where performing their rituals interferes with daily life.

Sources: American Psychiatric Association and National Institute of Mental Health

Eating Disorder Self Test. Take the EAT-26 self test to see if you might have eating disorder symptoms that might require professional evaluation. All answers are confidential.

Find a Treatment Facility Near You

Click on a state below to find eating disorder treatment options that could be right for you.

The information provided on is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her health professional. This information is solely for informational and educational purposes and we encourage all visitors to see a licensed physician if they believe that they have an eating disorder. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Neither the owners or employees of nor the author(s) of site content take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading this site. Always speak with your primary health care provider before engaging in any form of self treatment. Please see our Legal Statement for further information.

Copyright © 2008-2018
Company Information

© 2018 All rights reserved. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of's terms of service and privacy policy. The material on this site is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment provided by a qualified health care provider.