Is OCD An Anxiety Disorder? What It Is and How to Deal With It?

ocd and anxiety

OCD is often referred to as an anxiety disorder, but what does that mean? Anxiety disorders are a group of mental disorders that involve excessive fear or worry. They can cause problems with daily activities such as work, school, and relationships. OCD is characterized by intrusive thoughts and repetitive behaviors. Let’s take a closer look at this disorder and see if it meets the criteria for an anxiety disorder.

What Do OCD And Anxiety Mean?

What Do OCD And Anxiety Mean

Anxiety disorders are a type of mental illness. They can cause feelings of fear, worry, and unease. These feelings can be so strong that they interfere with your daily life. OCD is one of many types of anxiety disorders. Anxiety disorders are different from normal anxiety. They can cause you to feel out of control and unable to cope.

OCD stands for “obsessive-compulsive disorder.” OCD is an anxiety disorder that causes people to have unwanted and intrusive thoughts (obsessions). These thoughts can be about anything, such as germs, dirt, or harm. People with OCD feel the need to do certain things (compulsions) to try to control their obsessions and ease their anxiety. For example, someone with OCD might wash their hands over and over again to try to prevent themselves from getting sick.

What Are The Similarities Between Anxiety And OCD?

What Are The Similarities Between Anxiety And OCD

Anxiety and OCD are both common mental disorders that can have a significant impact on your life. While there are some similarities between the two, there are also key differences.

Some of the key similarities are as follows:

Immense Distress

Both disorders can cause immense distress. This may be due to the fear of having a panic attack or the fear of doing something that will trigger your OCD.

Triggered By Stressful Events Or Periods

Both disorders can be triggered by stressful events or periods. This may include a major life event, such as the death of a loved one, or a more minor event, such as starting a new job.

Difficulty Concentrating

Both disorders can make it difficult to concentrate. This is due to the constant worry and anxiety that both disorders can cause.

Intrusive Thoughts Or Images

Both disorders can cause intrusive thoughts or images. This may be a fear of something bad happening or an image of something that you are trying to avoid.


Both disorders can cause avoidance. This may be avoiding certain situations or places that trigger your anxiety or OCD.

Cause A Great Deal Of Distress

Both anxiety and OCD can cause a great deal of distress. This can include physical symptoms, such as a racing heart or sweating, as well as mental symptoms, such as feeling constantly on edge or feeling like you can’t escape your thoughts.

Both Conditions Are Long-Term

Both anxiety and OCD are long-term conditions. This means that they can last for months or even years. In some cases, they may even be lifelong conditions.

These were some of the key similarities between anxiety and OCD. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to seek professional help.

How OCD Is Different From Anxiety?

How OCD Is Different From Anxiety

OCD and anxiety disorders are often confused because they share some common symptoms, such as intrusive thoughts. However, there are key ways in which OCD differs from anxiety.

Obsess About Different Things

For one thing, people with OCD tend to obsess about very specific things, whereas people with anxiety may worry about a range of issues. For example, someone with OCD might be obsessed with the idea that their house is dirty and must be cleaned constantly. In contrast, someone with an anxiety disorder may worry about a variety of things, such as their job, family, or health.

Obsessions are Irrational

Another key difference is that people with OCD usually realize that their obsessions are irrational, but they cannot control them. In contrast, people with anxiety may believe that their worries are rational and accurate.

Compulsive Behaviors

People with OCD often feel the need to perform certain rituals or behaviors (called compulsions) to try to control their obsessions. For example, someone with a fear of germs may wash their hands dozens of times a day. People with anxiety may also engage in certain behaviors to try to control their worry, but these behaviors are not as time-consuming or repetitive as compulsions.

These are some of how OCD and anxiety disorders differ. If you think you may have either disorder, it is important to see a mental health professional for an evaluation. Treatment for both conditions is available and can be very effective.

Why Anxiety Disorders Are More Common?

Why Anxiety Disorders Are More Common

It’s also important to note that anxiety disorders are far more common than OCD. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, about 18% of adults in the United States suffer from an anxiety disorder in any given year. That means that for every five people you know, at least one is dealing with some form of anxiety. On the other hand, only about two to three percent of people have OCD.

There are several reasons why anxiety disorders are so much more common than OCD.

Normal Human Emotion

One reason is that anxiety is a normal human emotion. Everyone experiences anxiety at some point in their lives. It’s only when that anxiety becomes so excessive that it interferes with your daily life that it becomes a disorder.

It Has Different Types

Another reason is that there are many different types of anxiety disorders. Some of the most common include social anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and panic disorder. OCD is much less common because it’s more specific and not as well-known as other types of anxiety disorders.


The fact that OCD is less common than other types of anxiety disorders may be one reason why it’s often misunderstood. People may think of OCD as simply being “anxiety on steroids” or “worse than normal” Anxiety.

But OCD is a unique disorder with its own set of symptoms and treatment methods. If you think you may have OCD, it’s important to talk to a mental health professional who can help you get the right diagnosis and treatment.

What Are The Ways To Cope With Anxiety And OCD?

What Are The Ways To Cope With Anxiety And OCD

There are many ways that people with anxiety and OCD can cope with their condition.


Some people may need medication to help them control their symptoms, while others may find that therapy is more helpful. One of the most important things for people with anxiety and OCD to do is to learn as much as possible about their condition. This can help them to understand their triggers and how to avoid them.

Develop A Support System

Additionally, people with anxiety and OCD need to develop a support system of family and friends who can provide emotional stability during times of distress.

Relaxation Techniques

Finally, relaxation techniques such as yoga or meditation can help manage anxiety and OCD symptoms. These techniques can help to calm the mind and body, and allow people to better focus on positive thoughts and feelings.

If you or someone you know is struggling with anxiety or OCD, it is important to seek professional help. These conditions can be difficult to manage on your own, but with the right treatment, they can be effectively managed. If you are unsure where to start, consider talking to your primary care physician or mental health professional. They can help you understand your options and find the best treatment plan for your needs.

The Takeaway

Anxiety disorders are very common, affecting millions of people each year. While OCD is less common than other types of anxiety disorders, it’s still a serious condition that can be disabling if left untreated. If you think you may have OCD, don’t hesitate to reach out to a mental health professional for help.

If you think you might have OCD, talk to your doctor or mental health professional. They can help you figure out if your symptoms are due to OCD or another condition. If you do have OCD, there are effective treatments that can help you manage your symptoms and live a healthy, productive life.

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