How are anxiety and OCD related?

Anxiety is a general term indicating an anticipation of a future threat. Obsessive compulsive disorder is related to the anxiety disorders (such as Panic Disorder or Generalized Anxiety Disorder) but it has its own definition. 

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is defined by the presence in a person of obsessions, compulsions or both. Obsessions are repetitive thoughts, urges or images that are both disturbing and unwanted in a person’s mind. For example a person may have an obsession that they have contracted the HIV virus, or an image of something violent or horrific or an urge to harm someone or something. The person experiencing these thoughts tries to ignore or suppress them, but the thoughts return unwanted anyway. Sometimes they may develop compulsions which are specific behaviors that are aimed at reducing the impact of the thought.

Learn about behavioral health services at Swedish.