How Are Anxiety Disorder and OCD Related?

How Are Anxiety Disorder and OCD Related

Anxiety disorders and OCD share many symptoms. Even though OCD and anxiety disorders typically coexist and share symptoms, there are some important distinctions between the two that help with diagnosis. Making a distinction between these traits may aid in determining the best course of action for treating anxiety and OCD problems.

To learn more about OCD vs. anxiety disorders and their relationship, keep reading.

Anxiety Disorders: What Are They?

A highly developed version of dread that we encounter on a daily basis is anxiety. On the other hand, anxiety disorders include a range of mental health issues that extend beyond simple feelings of unease or terror. In those with anxiety disorders [1*] , anxiety is persistent, never goes away, and might become worse with time. Anxiety disorder symptoms may interfere with relationships, employment, and academic achievement, among other aspects of life.

There are several categories of anxiety disorders, which include:

OCD: What Is It?

The category of diseases known as obsessive-compulsive disorders (OCD) is defined by recurrent, unpleasant thoughts, emotions, or sensations that are referred to as obsessions. A compulsion is when a patient feels driven to do an action again and over again due to an obsession. Repetitive actions such as cleaning, checking on objects, and hand washing may seriously disrupt a person’s daily routine and social interactions. Repetitive actions or troubling thoughts are common in non-OCD individuals. These attitudes and actions, nevertheless, often don’t get in the way of day-to-day activities. Rigid behavior patterns and recurrent thoughts are characteristics of OCD sufferers. As a result, it is typical for OCD sufferers to feel very distressed when they don’t follow the prescribed routines or behaviors.

OCD comes in a variety of forms. The following are the most prevalent kinds of OCD:

For assistance with your OCD and anxiety symptoms, see a professional!

Symptoms of OCD vs. Anxiety Disorders

Symptoms of anxiety:

Signs of OCD:

Is Anxiety & OCD The Same Thing?

OCD used to be categorized as a particular kind of anxiety illness. Later, anxiety disorders and obsessive-compulsive disorders were divided into distinct categories in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) of mental health disorders, which was updated to its fifth edition.

Similarities: These illnesses have several characteristics that may give the impression that they are comparable.

Disparities: Although the underlying symptoms of OCD brought on by obsessions and compulsions resemble those of anxiety, they are not the same. Three factors serve as the main points of differentiation between GAD and OCD.

Treatment for Anxiety and OCD

Treatment for Anxiety Disorder and OCD

OCD and anxiety disorders may both be treated with cognitive behavior therapy. CBT combines a number of research-proven therapies with the premise that, at least partially, a person’s thoughts shape their behavior and emotions. Usually, CBT and medicine are used to treat GAD and other anxiety disorders. The usual treatment for OCD is exposure and response prevention therapy, or ERP, which is a kind of CBT. Severe OCD instances may also be treated with medication.


Anxiety disorders and OCD may significantly affect your day-to-day functioning. Do not be afraid to get therapy if you really doubt that you have one.


Is OCD the worst anxiety disorder?

The classification of OCD as an anxiety illness has changed. It is a more severe kind of anxiety disorder, however, characterized by obsessive activities in addition to worried thoughts.

Can you have both anxiety and OCD?

Indeed! OCD and anxiety are co-occurring disorders. You may have both at the same time.

Why has OCD been removed from anxiety disorders?

OCD is a complex condition. It is a medical, neurological condition in which genetic inheritance plays a significant role. OCD was separated from anxiety disorders due to several differences, such as compulsive acts.

Can anxiety mimic OCD?

OCD and anxiety may sometimes be confused. Restlessness, bodily tension, and undesired behaviors seem to be anxiety symptoms rather than OCD symptoms. Contrarily, obsessive behaviors are not a feature of anxiety disorders.