There are hundreds of OCD tests and “OCD quizzes” online. Some aim to help people self-diagnose; others turn obsessive-compulsive disorder into a joke. Either way, a vast majority of these are not helpful and probably create more problems than solutions.
Whenever we’re struggling, it’s natural to seek clarity. And because OCD is a diagnosable condition, a lot of quizzes try to provide that clarity.
But online OCD quizzes can make things worse.
1) There’s a lot of bad information out there. Remember that even if someone’s website implies that they have real knowledge on OCD, that doesn’t mean it won’t lead you astray. Always be careful to find out the ultimate source of information about OCD or its symptoms– in other words, who wrote the actual content and what’s it based on?
2) For many people with OCD, taking online tests can become a compulsion. The internet makes it really easy to keep finding more quizzes whenever and wherever. If someone is repeatedly taking quizzes to gain a sense of safety (a reassurance-seeking behavior) it may be a sign that taking online tests has become a compulsion.
3) Results from an online quiz should not be taken as a diagnosis. Only a licensed mental health professional (psychologist, social worker, counselor, psychiatrist or other trained medical professional) with relevant experience and training can make this determination. Compared to an online quiz, their diagnostic process involves extended time, a comprehensive assessment, and detailed diagnostic tools that have been validated.
Are there any free tests of OCD symptoms online that are helpful?
With all of this in mind, we know that it can be extremely hard to know where to start when you suspect you may have OCD. Below are some thoughtful screenings created by licensed professionals (or adapted from their work). These results can be shared with your mental health providers to help you make informed decisions about your health:
–The Anxiety and Depression Association of America screening (based on the Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale, or Y-BOCS)
Have any questions? We’re listening at @treatmyocd on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Our Clinical Director, Stephanie Lonsway, PhD, helped us validate the information in this post.