Loading icon
Press enter or spacebar to select a desired language.
Health Information Center

Talking to Your Doctor About Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

  • Amy Scholten, MPH
Publication Type:


Talking to Your Doctor About Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

You have your own health history. Talk with your doctor about your risk factors and background with OCD. By talking openly and often with your doctor, you can take an active role in your care.

Tips for Getting Information

Here are some tips that will make it easier to talk to your doctor:

  • Bring someone with you. It helps to have another person hear what is said and think of questions to ask. They may also be able to give more details.
  • Write down your questions so do you do not forget them.
  • Write down the answers you get and make sure you understand what you are hearing.
  • Ask for help if you need it. Do not be afraid to ask questions or ask where you can find more information. You have a right to know.

Questions to Ask Your Doctor

About Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Let your doctor know about symptoms and any day to day problems you are having. Be honest. This information will help the doctor make a plan.

If your doctor thinks OCD is possible, consider asking:

  • Could I have a different illness? Can I have a checkup to be sure?
  • Have you treated other people with OCD? If not, can you give me the name of another doctor who has?

About Treatment Options

  • What treatments are there for OCD?
  • If I take medicine:
    • How long will it take to work?
    • How will it help me?
    • What side effects should I look for?
  • Should I try counseling? What type do you recommend?
  • Are there any alternative or complementary therapies I should try?

About Counseling

You can talk to a counselor before you begin treatment. This will help you find a counselor with whom you feel comfortable. Some questions to ask are:

  • What is your training? Do you have experience with OCD?
  • What is your basic treatment plan for OCD?
  • How long does treatment last?
  • How long is each session? How often would I come?
  • Is my health insurance accepted?

About Lifestyle Changes

  • What day to day habits can ease anxiety and stress? Should I make changes in my diet or exercise? Are there other steps that may help?
  • What is the best way to start these habits?

About Outlook

  • What are my chances of recovery with treatment? What may happen without treatment?
  • How often does OCD come back? What can I do to prevent it from coming back?


  • About OCD. International OCD Foundation website. Available at: https://iocdf.org/about-ocd.
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/obsessive-compulsive-disorder-ocd.
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). National Institute of Mental Health website. Available at: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/obsessive-compulsive-disorder-ocd/index.shtml.
  • Tips for talking to your doctor. Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at:https://familydoctor.org/tips-for-talking-to-your-doctor.


  • Adrian Preda, MD
Last Updated:

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.