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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Is there a relationship between OCD and anxiety?

  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • Offers information and education advice about protecting mental health, mutual support and advocacy services. View Profile

    People experiencing Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) have some recurrent worries, the range of worrying tends to be broader and not specific to one area, whereas people with OCD often worry and obsess about one or a handful of specific things. GAD does not exhibit the ritualistic compulsions as a way to cope with worrying as people with OCD do.

  • Anthony Berrick


    Yes, OCD is a particular type of anxiety disorder.

    Someone with OCD has obsessive thoughts or worries about something bad happening, and feels compelled to perform a particular behaviour to stop the bad event from occuring or make the thoughts go away.

    At the heart of it, is an overwhelming feeling of intense anxiety - it's this horrible feeling that makes the person want to repeat the behaviour to relieve the anxiety.

  • 1


    Dr Paul McQueen

    Clinical Psychologist, Psychologist

    As has been pointed out, OCD is a particular type of anxiety disorder in which a behaviour is repeated to deal with certain fears. This repetition of behaviour is very much driven by anxiety, yet people with OCD may sometimes be initially unaware of their anxiety precisely because they continually perform rituals that temporarily take the edge off that anxiety. Unfortunately, in the long run these same rituals serve to perpetuate the underlying anxiety.

  • 1


    Daliborka Lazarevic

    Clinical Psychologist, Psychologist

    Clinical Psychologist providing focused psychological strategies across a wide spectrum of issues. View Profile

    Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder, where individuals experience intrusive distressing thoughts which they generally ease by performing rituals. Although obsessions (thoughts) and compulsions (rituals) generally occur together, some people may experience them separately. It is also important to note that, although most people experience intrusive thoughts and perform certain daily rituals, individuals with OCD experience these to such a degree that they interfere with general functioning and greatly reduce their quality of life which is usually the main reason they seek treatment.  

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