You may start by seeing your primary doctor. Because obsessive-compulsive disorder often requires specialized care, you may be referred to a mental health provider, 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.
- Make a note of key personal information, including any major stresses or recent life changes.
- Take a list of all medications, vitamins, herbal remedies or other supplements, as well as the dosages.
- Make a list of questions you'd like to ask to make the most of your appointment time.
For OCD, basic questions to ask may include:
- Do you think I have OCD?
- How do you treat OCD?
- How can treatment help me?
- Are there medications that might help?
- Will talk therapy (psychotherapy) 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 websites?
Don't hesitate to ask questions anytime you don't understand something.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions. Being ready to answer them may reserve time to go over any points you want to spend more time on. Your doctor may ask:
Aug. 09, 2013
- 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?
- Golden, AK. Decision Support System. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. June 4, 2013.
- Obsessive-compulsive and related disorders. In: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-5. 5th ed. Arlington, Va.: American Psychiatric Association; 2013. http://www.psychiatryonline.org. Accessed July 1, 2013.
- Obsessive compulsive disorder. American Psychiatric Association. http://www.psychiatry.org/obsessive-compulsive-disorder. Accessed July 1, 2013.
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder. National Alliance on Mental Illness. http://www.nami.org/Template.cfm?Section=By_Illness&Template=/ContentManagement/ContentDisplay.cfm&ContentID=142546. Accessed July 1, 2013.
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Health Care Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/psychiatric_disorders/anxiety_disorders/obsessive-compulsive_disorder_ocd.html?qt=obsessive-compulsive disorder&alt=sh. Accessed July 1, 2013.
- What is obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)? National Institute of Mental Health. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/obsessive-compulsive-disorder-ocd/index.shtml. Accessed July 1, 2013.
- Simpson HB. Obsessive-compulsive disorder in adults: Epidemiology, pathogenesis, clinical manifestations, course, and diagnosis. www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed July 1, 2013.
- Mental health medications. National Institute of Mental Health. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/mental-health-medications/complete-index.shtml. Accessed May 14, 2013.
- Managing anxiety. Anxiety and Depression Association of America. http://www.adaa.org/living-with-anxiety/managing-anxiety. Accessed July 1, 2013.
- Biggs BK (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. July 15, 2013.
- Whiteside SP (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. July 16, 2013.
- Buss Preszler LK (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Aug. 8, 2013.
- 2012-2013 Research report: Psychiatry and psychology. Mayo Clinic. http://www.mayo.edu/pmts/mc0700-mc0799/mc0710-11.pdf. Accessed July 22, 2013.