Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Should I see a doctor about my OCD?"
I have an obsession with things being straight and neat. Sometimes I can't leave my house until I've straightened everything like 5 times and then I still keep thinking about it after I leave. I kind of do this with my desk at work too. Is this a danger to my mental health? Should I see a doctor?
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder characterized by intrusive thoughts causing worry or anxiety that often lead a person suffering from the disorder to repetitive behaviors or obsessions with cleaning in order to minimize their anxiety. In addition, people suffering from OCD often recognize that their obsessions or compulsions are not rational, and this can make feelings of anxiety and distress even worse. From the symptoms you describe, it sounds as though you could be suffering from OCD. As with any change in your physical or mental health, the best place to start is with your primary care physician. He or she can perform a thorough history and physical exam to help determine if there have been any changes in your health or whether a referral to a specialist is warranted. In the case of a possible OCD diagnosis, your primary care physician can help explore the onset of your symptoms and the degree to which they are affecting your daily life. He or she may decide to refer you to a psychiatrist for a more detailed evaluation. The good news about OCD is that it is treatable, and there are both medications and therapies available to help patients cope with the symptoms. The best thing you can do to preserve your health is to make sure you are getting the evaluation and care that you need.
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