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How Does OCD Differ from Other Types of Anxiety?

2 min read

Frame Therapist Katilin Soule outlines the differences between OCD and other types of anxiety, sharing that "Most people that I work with who have OCD felt like they were “crazy,” until they sat in front of somebody who understood what OCD is and how it works.

Misinformation, or lack thereof, around mental health can be incredibly harmful to the people who suffer from it. I put together this info graphic in hopes to share a little bit of information around what OCD is and how it stands apart from and together with other types of anxiety."

Read her guide below: 


- OCD thoughts are often bizarre, distressing, and involve content that people feel scared or embarrassed to share.

- Everyone has distressing thoughts occasionally, but the OCD brain gets stuck on them. 

- The content and persistency of thoughts make people want to get rid of them so they engage in compulsions. Compulsions can be both physical and mental - they are exhausting and life sucking, yet people do them anyway to get out of intense fear of what might happen to them if they don't.

- Compulsions provide temporary relief, but act to feed the OCD and make it worse in the long run. 

- OCD is often misrepresented as just a need to be orderly or "clean". It is so much more than that.  


Underneath it all is an intense fear, or intolerance of, uncertainty. 

Like other times of anxiety, OCD is highly treatable with a combination of ERP, sometimes meds, and a commitment to doing the "work", inside and outside of the therapy room. 


Kaitlin Soule, LMFT

About the author: Kaitlin runs a modern cognitive behavioral therapy practice specializing in Maternal Mental Health, Anxiety, and helping brave souls get unstuck and heal.  Follow her for more content @petalumacbt