Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Some Initial Assessment Questions
Copyright © Donald Robertson, 2012. All rights reserved.
Instructions: The following questions are designed to help you describe a basic summary of any obsessive-compulsive symptoms. OCD symptoms vary considerably from one person to another. Some people have a wide variety of symptoms, whereas others only have one or two main symptoms. Just ignore any examples or questions below that don’t seem relevant and focus on what you consider to be the most important aspects of your problem.
- Are you bothered by recurring thoughts, images, or urges (obsessions) that are unwanted or seem unrealistic but are difficult to stop entering your mind?
- Do you feel driven to use certain physical or mental behaviours (compulsion) excessively or repeatedly in order to reduce your internal distress or discomfort?
If you answered “yes” to either one of these questions then proceed to answer the questions below.
If you have intrusive thoughts (obsessions) that fall under any of the following headings, briefly describe them. Rate each obsession in terms of its frequency, the intensity of distress caused, and the extent to which you try to resist the thought or control it. Use the rating scales below:
- Doubting: Questioning whether you’ve locked doors, turned off appliances, made mistakes, completed tasks properly, etc.
- Contamination: Thoughts about contracting germs from doorknobs, toilets, money, etc.
- Inappropriate Behaviour: Thoughts about shouting obscenities aloud in public, undressing, acting strangely, etc.
- Aggressive Behaviour: Thoughts or urges about harming oneself or others intentionally, acting violently, etc.
- Sex: Obscene thoughts or images of a sexual nature, thoughts about violent or illegal sexual acts, etc.
- Religion: Blasphemous or religiously-themed disturbing thoughts, images, or urges, etc.
- Accidents: Thoughts or images about poisoning or injuring someone accidentally, etc.
- Horrific Images: Disturbing images of mutilated bodies, etc.
- Other (specify):
Describe your main obsessions:
Rate the frequency of each type of obsession (0-8), where 0 means “never” and 8 means “constantly”
Rate the distress associated with each type of obsession (0-8), where 0 means “none” and 8 means “extremely severe”
Rate your resistance to each type of obsession (0-8), where 0 means “never” and 8 means “constantly”
If you have any excessive or repetitive (compulsive) behaviours that fall under the following headings describe them below, and provide a rating of their frequency.
- Rule-following: Sticking to rigid rules or sequences, following rituals, routines, etc.
- Checking: Looking more than once to check locks, appliances, emails, etc.
- Washing/Cleaning: Washing your hands or body, cleaning your house or clothes, etc.
- Mental Rituals: Repeating words, prayers, mantras, counting, etc.
- Other (specify):
Describe your main compulsions:
Rate the frequency of each compulsion (0-8), where 0 means “never” and 8 means “constantly”.
Severity & Impact of Symptoms
- What percentage of the day, on average over the last month, do you spend thinking about your obsessions (0-100%)? (Is it more than one hour per day?)
- When the obsession is at its peak, how strongly do you believe it to be true/accurate (0-100%)?
- At other times, when not experiencing the obsession, how strongly do you believe it to be true/accurate (0-100%)?
- What concerns you most about having these obsessions? What do you worry that it might mean? What’s the worst that might happen if the obsessions increased?
- What percentage of the day, on average over the last month, do you spend engaging in your compulsions (0-100%)? (Is it more than one hour per day?)
- Do you feel these compulsions are irrational or take up more time than necessary?
- How strongly do you try to resist carrying out these compulsions (0-100%)?
- How anxious would you feel if unable to carry out your compulsions (0-100%)?
- What do you worry might happen if you were unable to carry out your compulsions?
- In what ways have your obsessions and compulsions interfered with different domains of your life (work, relationships, daily routine, social life, etc.)?