You Are Not Alone
Information for Individuals

Related Conditions

Some people who have OCD also have other mental health disorders.  For example, a person could suffer with OCD at the same time as depression, attention deficit disorder or another anxiety disorder.

If another condition occurs concurrently with OCD, it can be confusing to try to pinpoint just what conditions the person may be suffering from.  A mental health therapist can help identify related disorders and also determine how to treat the individual so that not only OCD but any related disorder is treated. When two mental health disorders occur simultaneously in an individual, they are called “comorbid.”

Some of these related conditions are:

MAJOR DEPRESSION.  Symptoms may include a persistent sad, empty or hopeless mood, loss of interest in usually pleasurable activities (such as sports, hobbies, or sex), decreased energy, difficulty concentrating, insomnia or oversleeping, irritability, weight gain or loss, and thoughts of death or suicide.  (Resource: National Institute of Mental Health).

ANXIETY DISORDERS.  OCD is classified as an anxiety disorder.  Other anxiety disorders include Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Panic Disorder (panic attacks), Social Anxiety Disorders and specific phobias such as fear of snakes or heights. All of these disorders include symptoms such as excessive worrying and fear and, because each disorder is different, symptoms can be quite varied.  (Resource: Anxiety Disorders Association of America).

EATING DISORDERS.  Anorexia nervosa (self-starvation and excessive weight loss), binge eating (recurrent overeating without compensatory behavior) and bulimia (binge eating with compensatory behavior such as self-induced vomiting) are disorders that involve serious disturbances in eating behaviors.  Approximately 40% of people with anorexia also have OCD.  (Resource:  National Eating Disorders Association).

ATTENTION DEFICIT DISORDERS.  ADD and AD/HD (Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) can occur in children and in adults.  Symptoms include inattentiveness, physical restlessness or hyperactivity, difficulty beginning or completing tasks and impulsivity.  (Resource: Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder).

TOURETTE SYNDROME OR TIC DISORDERS.  Motor and vocal “tics” are involuntary movements, facial expressions and vocalizations that include shrugging, blinking, sudden head movements, sniffing, clearing the throat, humming, making other sounds or uttering exclamations or obscenities.  (Resource:  Tourette Syndrome Association of America).

ASPERGER SYNDROME:  An autism spectrum disorder, Asperger Syndrome is characterized by problems with communication, social interaction and patterns of thought.  Many people with Asperger have intense or “obsessive” interests in certain subjects, but focusing on these interests brings them pleasure—unlike OCD, which produces anxiety. (Resource: National Institute of Child Health & Human Development).

OCD Spectrum Disorders

Some conditions that tend to exist with OCD are thought to be biologically linked to the disorder as part of an obsessive compulsive “spectrum.”  These conditions also should be treated by a qualified mental health therapist.

BODY DYSMORPHIC DISORDER.  People with Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) have a preoccupation with their appearance—specifically an imagined or exaggerated defect in their appearance.  They may think of themselves as ugly, and are often obsessed with a perceived flaw, such as a facial feature.  They have difficulty controlling negative thoughts about how they believe they look, even when others believe the person looks fine.  (Resource: Mayo Clinic Tools for Healthier Lives).

TRICHOTILLOMANIA, SKIN-PICKING and NAIL BITING.  Compulsive hair-pulling (“Trich”), skin-picking, and nail biting are considered body-focused repetitive behaviors.  Some signs of these conditions include noticeable hair loss from pulling hair out by the roots, noticeable (or hidden) scars, sores or scabs, and nails that are bitten so that they are uneven and no nail extension is present.  (Resource: Trichotillomania Learning Center).

Learn about OCD symptoms

Download OCD Quick Facts

Back to Information for Adults

 

Toolbox