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Disorders Related to OCD

 

 

It is important to get the right diagnosis as early as possible.  These other disorders are similar to OCD but are not OCD.  Some people can have both OCD and one or more of these.

 

Related Disorder

How This Disorder "Looks Like" OCD

How This Disorder is Different from OCD

Tic Disorders/

Tourette Syndrome


Expert Opinion: Tourette Syndrome 

Tourette Syndrome Fact Sheet


People with Tics/Tourette Syndrome and people with OCD both:

  • Repeat physical behaviors like eye blinking, touching or tapping.
  • Repeat vocal behaviors like clearing their throat. 

 

People with Tics or Tourette Syndrome:

 

  • Do their tics because they have a sense of discomfort or need to feel “just right”.
  • Respond better to habit reversal and to different medicines than people with OCD.

 

People with OCD:

  • Do their repetitive behaviors in response to an obsession (thought or image).
Trichotillomania (Compulsive Hair Pulling)

Fact Sheet: Trich 


People with Trichotillomania and people with OCD both:

  • Do repetitive behaviors
  • Do repetitive behaviors in response to feeling uncomfortable
 

People with Trichotillomania:

  • Get a good feeling from pulling out their body hair; some use it to relieve stress.
  • Respond better to habit reversal and to different medicines then people with OCD.

People with OCD:

  • Repeat their behaviors to get away from bad feelings, like anxiety.

 




Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD)

Fact Sheet: BDD
Expert Opinion: BDD 
 

People with BDD and people with OCD both do repetitive checking.
 

People with BDD:

  • Have checking behaviors and obsessions that only focus on their body or the way they look
  • Are very likely to seek cosmetic surgery

 

People with OCD:

  • Do not usually have thoughts or behaviors that focus on the way they look.
Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD)

Fact Sheet: OCPD


People with OCPD and people with OCD both have problems with:

  • Making excessive lists
  • Perfectionism
  • Hoarding
 

People with OCPD:

  • Have problems finishing tasks because of their preoccupation with perfectionism.
  • Don’t see a problem with their “symptoms”

 

People with OCD:

  • Do not always have perfectionism problems
  • Do not like their OCD “symptoms”
Asperger's Disorder and Autism


Expert Opinion: Asperger's 


People with Asperger’s Disorder or Autism and people with OCD both may have:

  • “Stereotyped” behaviors like following rigid routines
  • an obsessive” interest in something
 

People with Asperger’s or Autism:

 

  • Usually have thoughts and behaviors that only focus on repeating things
  • Don’t try to prevent their thoughts
  • Have severe problems with social interactions

 

People with OCD:

 

  • Usually have thoughts and behaviors that focus on contamination, violent/sexual themes, checking, etc.
  • Try to stop their bad thoughts from happening

Impulse Control Disorders

(example: gambling, sexual activity, excessive shopping)


People with Impulse Control Disorders and people with OCD both may have:

  • strong urges to repeat certain behaviors
  • attention problems
 

People with Impulse Control Disorders:

  • Repeat their behaviors as a way to increase good feelings like arousal or excitement.

 

People with OCD:

  • Repeat their behaviors to get away from bad feelings, like anxiety.

Psychotic Disorders/

Schizophrenia


People with Psychotic Disorders/Schizophrenia and people with OCD both may have:

  • Strange or bizarre thoughts
  • Thoughts that include sexual, violent or religious themes

 

People with Psychotic Disorders/Schizophrenia:

 

  • Have delusions.  Their thoughts aren’t based in reality, but the person believes the thoughts to be true.

 

People with OCD:

 

  • Usually know that their obsessive thoughts don’t make sense, even if they respond to them as though they are “true.”
  • Can stay in touch with reality in all other areas of their lives.
 

 

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