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Is OCD An Anxiety Disorder?

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a mental health disorder in which one has recurring unwanted thoughts that they cannot control that compel them to do some things repeatedly. These intrusive thoughts are labeled obsessions, and the behaviors they cause are called compulsions.

It is common for people to have focused thoughts or to have personal routines they repeat regularly, but once they obstruct the daily life of an individual, it may because for concern. People with OCD have very persistent thoughts that cause them great distress and anxiety since they are unable to be calm until they have fulfilled their compulsions. 

An anxiety disorder is a mental disorder that causes extreme worry and apprehension that interfere with one’s daily activities. The feelings of fear last longer than the usual bouts of anxiety everybody usually suffers from. Some examples of anxiety disorders are; Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), social phobias, panic disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and particular phobias.

Obsessive Thoughts and Compulsive Behavior

Obsessions are constant and unwanted thoughts that take root in the minds of those suffering from OCD. They are intrusive and cause a lot of distress and anxiety. The fears that fuel these thoughts are usually irrational. For example, the fear that if you do not arrange your things in perfect symmetry, something horrible will happen. Even though many OCD patients suspect or know that their fears are unreasonable, the thoughts are so persistent that they turn to compulsions to alleviate their anxiety even for a short while.

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Compulsions are behaviors or rituals that one feels obliged to perform to relieve themselves from obsessive thoughts. These behaviors are repetitive and tend to be in a structured routine. A person with OCD will see these compulsions as a duty they need to carry out to protect themselves and those they love from a danger they perceive.

A person living with OCD is often trapped in the vicious cycle of OCD. This is a process of four stages that perpetually cyclically repeat themselves. These four stages are:

  • Obsessive thought:This is when unwanted and uncontrollable thoughts appear.
  • Anxiety. This is when the fears cause worry and panic.
  • Compulsive behavior: One tries to relieve themselves from the anxiety by carrying out repeated behaviors and routines.
  • Temporary relief: One feels a sense of calm after avoiding ‘danger’ by carrying out their compulsions. This lasts only a short while before the obsessive thoughts reappear, and the cycle continues.

Types of OCD

The obsessive thoughts of people living with OCD tend to be centered on one of the following fears:

  • Fear of Contamination: Those with his fear are obsessed with being clean. They tend to wash everything and usually have intense hand-washing compulsions.
  • Fear of Moral Imperfection: Those who suffer from this are afraid that if everything is not perfect, they will be punished for their sins.
  • Fear of Disorder: This causes one to be obsessed with symmetry and alignment. If things are even slightly out of place, one fears that something terrible will happen and goes into a state of panic. People with this type of OCD may also have superstitions about certain numbers or even colors.
  • Fear of Leaving Something Unchecked: Those who suffer from this are afraid of leaving things like cookers on or doors unlocked. This causes them to check the doors, locks, and ovens several times. Even after assuring themselves that they have left things in a good state, they soon fear that they were incorrect and go back to check again.
  • Fear of Letting Go of Possessions: People with this fear tend to be hoarders as they are afraid that something bad will happen if they throw anything away. They may feel that they will be losing items of significant sentimental value even when that may not be the case. As a result, they end up keeping a lot of things they do not need or use.

OCD versus Anxiety Disorders

Misdiagnosis of OCD patients is a bit common, and thus the need for proper distinction between OCD and anxiety disorders. Both OCD and anxiety disorders are associated with intense worrying and apprehension over various activities. However, there are some key differences. These are:

  • The fears in anxiety disorder usually arise from real-life concerns, while those in OCD are rather irrational.
  • Although both can exhibit thinking about things repeatedly, people with anxiety disorders tend to jump from one issue to the next while those with OCD obsess over certain thoughts constantly.
  • People with anxiety disorders may have panic attacks or severe anxiety as a result of their fears, while people with OCD have compulsive behaviors due to their obsessive thoughts.
  • People with anxiety disorders are inclined to thinking about the worst possible outcome in many situations, while the fears of people with OCD usually fall within certain categories.

Although OCD and anxiety disorders have a lot in common, they were separated by DSM-5 in 2013 by creating a different category for Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders. 

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Looking for the Best Anxiety Disorder Treatment?

Novo Detox is a rehab for drugs and alcohol located in Los Angeles, California. We are dedicated to providing our patients with round-the-clock care to help them be the healthiest versions of themselves. 

Our services extend to people with mental health disorders such as OCD and bipolar disorder. Due to the common co-occurrence of substance abuse and mental health disorders, we have found it necessary to tackle mental disorders in a bid to prevent future substance abuse issues. The reverse can also occur, where addictions can increase the risk of making mental disorders much worse.

In cases where substance abuse and mental disorders occur simultaneously, we offer an integrative approach allowing you to receive treatment for both mental illness and addiction. A treatment team is assigned to you, and they will ensure you receive both treatments effectively. Your treatment team will create a customized treatment plan designed to meet your unique needs.

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Conclusion

OCD is a mental disorder that causes one to have unwanted, persistent thoughts that are intrusive, resulting in repetitive behaviors in a bid to alleviate the anxiety. These thoughts are known as obsessions, and the behaviors they cause are called compulsions.

The types of OCD arise from; fear of moral imperfection, disorder, letting possessions go, and contamination. Anxiety disorders and OCD have several similarities, but important differences between them are; obsessive thoughts resulting in compulsive behavior and the irrational fear present in OCD.

Visit us today and start your process of healing. Our goal is to get you back to a healthy lifestyle. Call us at any time on (844)834-1777 or visit us at 11346 Thurston Pl, Los Angeles, California, to get help.

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