How are OCD and pyromania related to each other?

Pyromania is, according to the DSM-IV-TR (2000), “deliberate and purposeful fire setting on more than one occasion.”

Prior to the act of fire setting, there is an increase in tension, and there is a long-held fascination with fire. Once the fire is set, there is a sense of relief or joy.

Fires set by people with pyromania are not set for vengeance or for monetary gain and are not better accounted for by another disorder, such as delusional disorder or antisocial personality disorder.

Similar to the other disorders that we have discussed, pyromania and OCD can appear similar on the surface.

The main difference between the two is that if the obsession and compulsion are limited to fire setting, the diagnosis is pyromania, but if there are other obsessive impulses or compulsive behaviors, then OCD would be the appropriate diagnosis.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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