Your mind races, your heart beats faster, and you feel a sense of unease wash over you. You may even have a compulsion to check and recheck things repeatedly. These are just some of the common symptoms that people with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and anxiety experience. While they may seem like separate conditions, there is a deep connection between OCD and anxiety. OCD is actually classified as an anxiety disorder. While it has its own unique characteristics and symptoms, it is often seen alongside other anxiety disorders.
Northeast Health Services offers OCD treatment services that can address the symptoms of anxiety and OCD simultaneously. If you or a loved one is struggling with either of these conditions, call 508.794.8711 today to get started.
Are Anxiety and OCD Connected?
Yes, anxiety and OCD are intrinsically linked. OCD is primarily driven by anxiety. A person with OCD experiences intense anxiety or distress when they have unwanted, intrusive thoughts (obsessions). To alleviate this distress, they engage in repetitive behaviors or mental rituals (compulsions). For example, a fear of germs (anxiety) might lead someone to wash their hands excessively (compulsion).
On the other hand, the persistent cycle of obsessions and compulsions in OCD can cause significant anxiety. Someone might worry about whether they’ve locked the door properly, leading to excessive checking and subsequent anxiety about other possible oversights. This cycle can be self-perpetuating, with OCD and anxiety constantly feeding off of each other, exacerbating the overall severity of both conditions.
The Signs and Symptoms of OCD and Anxiety
There are various types of OCD, including contamination, harm, perfectionism, hoarding, etc. Different people may experience different types of OCD with varying levels of severity. Similarly, there are many forms of anxiety disorders, such as generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder, social anxiety disorder (SAD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), etc. Regardless of the specific type, people with anxiety disorders have excessive worry and fear that is difficult to control.
Some of the common symptoms of OCD and anxiety include:
- Intrusive thoughts or obsessions
- Compulsions or repetitive behaviors to alleviate distress
- Difficulty controlling thoughts or behaviors
- Feeling on edge, restless, or constantly worried
- Avoidance of certain situations or triggers
- Changes in mood and behavior
If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s essential to seek professional help for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.
How Treatment Can Help
Treatment for OCD and anxiety varies but often includes a combination of therapy, medication, and lifestyle changes. Approaches like cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) have been successful in alleviating the symptoms of OCD and anxiety. Exposure and response prevention (ERP) therapy, a type of CBT, is specifically designed to help people with OCD manage their obsessions and compulsions effectively. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) therapy can also be a helpful approach.
Another effective treatment approach for anxiety disorders is medication, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). These medications can help regulate the levels of serotonin in the brain, which can reduce symptoms of anxiety. Lifestyle changes, such as regular exercise, healthy eating, stress management techniques, and support from loved ones, can also aid in managing symptoms.
Call Northeast Health Services to Start OCD and Anxiety Treatment
Living with OCD and anxiety can be challenging, but it doesn’t have to control your life. With the right support and treatment, you can learn to manage these conditions effectively. At Northeast Health Services, our team understands the connection between OCD and anxiety and how they can influence each other. We provide personalized treatment plans that address both conditions simultaneously, setting you on the path to a healthier, happier life.
Call us today at 508.794.8711 or contact us online to schedule an appointment and take the first step towards finding relief from OCD and anxiety. Remember, you are not alone in this journey, and there is hope for recovery.