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Specializing in OCD and related conditions

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Specializing in the Treatment of OCD,
Harm OCD and Related Conditions


Harm OCD Test

Harm OCD is a term for a type of Pure Obsessional OCD (Pure O) in which an individual reports experiencing repeated, intrusive, unwanted obsessions of causing or being responsible for harm to others, or themselves. These obsessions may be experienced as “thoughts”, or “mental images” or “feelings” or “urges”.

While it may seem that the individual with Harm OCD has obsessions without doing compulsions, a review of his/her symptoms almost always reveals various compulsive behaviors, avoidant behaviors, reassurance-seeking behaviors, and “mental compulsions” which are not at first as easily observed as other, more obvious OCD compulsions.

The OCD Center of Los Angeles offers this confidential questionnaire in an effort to help you get a better idea of whether or not you are exhibiting signs of Harm OCD. Simply check those items that apply to you, and email it to us using the simple form below. While this Harm OCD test is not meant to replace a thorough evaluation, it may help in identifying traits of Harm OCD.

1.  I often have unwanted thoughts and/or mental images of causing harm or somehow being responsible for harm.

2.  These thoughts and/or mental images cause me great distress, and I can’t get them out of my mind no matter how much I try.

3.  I frequently think about acting in a manner that is purposely harmful or violent (i.e. stabbing someone, shooting someone, pushing someone into traffic).

4.  I often think about accidentally harming someone (i.e., running over a pedestrian, poisoning my children, exposing others to toxic chemicals).

5.  I frequently worry that I will be indirectly responsible for something bad occurring (i.e., ‘If I don’t pick up this trash, someone may hit it with their car, lose control, and get into a terrible accident, and it will be my fault’).

6.  II often worry that if I don’t perform certain superstitious behaviors, bad things will occur and it will be my fault (i.e. needing to knock on wood, count to certain number, or touch something a certain number of times in order to ensure that your child doesn’t get sick).

7.  I frequently obsess about harming my children, spouse, parents, or others who are important to me.

8.  I frequently obsess about harming innocent strangers.

9.  I frequently obsess about harming myself or committing suicide, and find these thoughts very uncomfortable.

10.  I avoid being around certain people, objects, places, or situations (i.e., knives, scissors, guns, cars, schools, theatres, medications, etc.) in order to avoid having thoughts about causing harm.

11.  When I drive, I often need to check under or around my car, or drive back to where I was previously driving, to check that I have not run someone over with my car.

12.  I limit my driving to certain areas or times in order to avoid running someone over and/or to avoid having thoughts about running someone over.

13.  I no longer drive at all due to my fears that I will run someone over with my car.

14.  I often repeat routine, daily activities to ensure that I did not or will not harm someone (e.g., washing my hands, locking the doors, turning off the stove, putting away sharp objects such as knives or scissors).

15.  I often replay events in my mind in an effort to get a sense of certainty that I have not harmed someone.

16.  I often mentally review my unwanted harm thoughts in order to check that I did not enjoy them or find them acceptable.

17.  I obsess about acting in a manner that is sexually violent or criminal, even though I find these behaviors abhorrent (i.e., being a rapist or pedophile).

18.  I prefer to avoid being around certain people in order to avoid having violent and/or inappropriate sexual thoughts about them.

19.  I often repeat certain phrases or prayers, to ensure that nothing bad happens, or to rid myself of unwanted thoughts that I have done (or will do) something harmful.

20.  I sometimes perform superstitious behaviors (i.e., knock on wood, count to a certain number) to ensure that nothing bad happens, or to rid myself of unwanted thoughts that I have done (or will do) something harmful.

21.  I repeatedly ask others for reassurance that I have not done (or will not do) something harmful.

22. I avoid certain movies, tv shows, books, newspapers, magazines, or websites in order to avoid having unwanted harm thoughts.

23.  I often read certain books, newspaper articles, magazines, or websites (or watch certain tv shows or movies) in an effort to test whether I am enjoying thoughts about harm.

24.  I sometimes wash or shower in order to get rid of ‘bad’ thoughts.

25.  I often repeat routine behaviors (e.g., locking doors, turning off light switches, turning off stove burners, etc.) because I feel I need to do them with a ‘good’ thought in my mind, not a ‘bad’ thought.

26.  I am often worried that I will have harm thoughts forever and that they will ultimately drive me insane and/or ruin my life.

27.  My obsessional thoughts are interfering with my relationships and/or with my academic or professional functioning.

28. Hours per day having unwanted harm obsessions.

29. The primary focus of my unwanted harm obsessions is


Please note: By sending this email, you are agreeing to be contacted by the OCD Center of Los Angeles. We respect your privacy and confidentiality and we will never share, sell, rent, loan, or give away your name, email address, or any other personal information to anyone.

If you would like more information about Harm OCD, or would like to discuss individual therapy, group therapy, online therapy, or intensive treatment at the OCD Center of Los Angeles, you can call us at (310) 824-5200, or click here to email us.

This Harm OCD questionnaire was developed on the basis of clinical experience of staff therapists at the OCD Center of Los Angeles. Please note that the above test is not meant to replace a complete and thorough evaluation by a licensed Cognitive-Behavioral therapist or other qualified mental health professional. Some individuals with Harm OCD may benefit from medication, and may therefore benefit from a psychiatric evaluation. Likewise, a psychiatric assessment may be necessary to differentiate between Harm OCD and other psychological conditions. If an evaluation is indicated, the OCD Center of Los Angeles can refer you to a qualified psychiatrist in our area. Furthermore, it is imperative to make the distinction between OCD and other medical conditions. For this reason, in some cases, a medical examination may be a necessary part of Harm OCD treatment.


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