You may start by seeing your primary doctor. Because obsessive-compulsive disorder often requires specialized care, you may be referred to a mental health professional, such as a psychiatrist or psychologist, for evaluation and treatment.
What you can do
To prepare for your appointment, think about your needs and goals for treatment. Make a list of:
- Any symptoms you've noticed, including any that may seem unrelated to the reason for the appointment
- Key personal information, including any major stresses or recent life changes
- All medications, vitamins, herbal remedies or other supplements, as well as the doses
- Questions you'd like to ask to make the most of your appointment time
Questions to ask might include:
- Do you think I have OCD?
- How do you treat OCD?
- How can treatment help me?
- Are there medications that might help?
- Will exposure and response prevention therapy help?
- How long will treatment take?
- What can I do to help myself?
- Are there any brochures or other printed material that I can have?
- Can you recommend any websites?
Don't hesitate to ask any other questions during your appointment.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions. Be ready to answer them to reserve time to go over any points you want to spend more time on. Your doctor may ask:
- Do certain thoughts go through your mind over and over despite your attempts to ignore them?
- Do you have to have things arranged in a certain way?
- Do you have to wash your hands, count things or check things over and over?
- When did your symptoms start?
- Have symptoms been continuous or occasional?
- What, if anything, seems to improve the symptoms?
- What, if anything, appears to worsen the symptoms?
- How do the symptoms affect your daily life?
- In a typical day, how much time do you spend on obsessive thoughts and compulsive behavior?
- Have any of your relatives had a mental illness?
- Have you experienced any trauma or major stress?