Obsessive-compulsive disorder is a disorder that causes repeated unwanted thoughts of sensations (obsessions) or the urge to do something over and over again (compulsions) although the only criterion needed for the diagnosis is obsessions.
As in many other disorders, the quality that defines something as a mental disorder is not only that a person has the symptoms, but that the symptoms rise to the level of interfering with your work or personal life.
Unfortunately for OCD sufferers, due to the frequent shame and guilt many people feel from having the condition and not being able to control it themselves, the average time from symptoms to diagnosis is 7 years. As with most mental disorders or physical disorders as well, the longer someone has untreated symptoms the harder it is to treat. So, if you think you might have this disorder, don’t wait to get treatment.