Commonly Misdiagnosed OCD Symptoms
Training + Experience = Proper Diagnosis
Misdiagnosed OCD symptoms are generally a result of a lack of training and a lack of experience. Training provides therapists with a specialization to identify and work with certain disorders. For instance, I specialize in OCD and will struggle if a potential client is suffering from Tourette syndrome. I would direct this person to a therapist qualified to handle this disorder. Conversely, many of my clients describe situations where their previous therapist struggled to properly identify their OCD, even though I identified their cases as textbook versions of OCD. Their previous therapists could have been brilliant, but without proper training their OCD symptoms could be elusive to spot. This is because OCD can seem like many other disorders. Beyond the well known cleansing and ordering forms of OCD, OCD can be hard to pinpoint if you have not received the proper training.
The hardest forms of OCD to spot if you don’t have the training or experience are the harm and religious forms of OCD. Their diagnosis can be difficult because people suffering from these forms of OCD may have some shame associated with them or because there are no visible expressions of the compulsion. They may not be as forthcoming in explaining their condition or may mask it all together. Experience helps a lot in these situations because you have to be able to see what is missing, not being said or inconsistent.