March 25, 2019
Is OCD an Anxiety Disorder?

Is OCD an Anxiety Disorder?

by Jeanine Barone  

Up until the fifth edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM-5, OCD was considered an anxiety disorder, grouped in the same category as phobias, generalized anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, panic disorder, and social anxiety. In DSM-5, however, it has been removed from the group of anxiety disorders and placed in its own category, along with these other related disorders:

  • Body dysmorphia, whereby someone has an unrealistic view of a body part (thinking, for example, that his or her nose is immense and repeatedly having plastic surgery).
  • Hoarding disorder, in which a person collects an immense amount of items, such as newspapers, and has difficulty throwing them away.
  • Excoriation (skin-picking) disorder, in which a person repeatedly picks at his or her skin, such as nails, and can’t resist this behavior even when it results in bleeding.
  • Trichotillomania, in which a person can’t resist pulling his or her hair, which can result in bald patches.

For more information on OCD and these OCD-related conditions, including resources such as support groups, therapists, clinics and books, visit the website of the International OCD Foundation.