Preparing for your appointment

By Mayo Clinic Staff

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:

  • 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?
Aug. 09, 2013

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