OCD vs. Anxiety: key differences

Mental diagnosis can be difficult, in part because the differences between individuals’ internal experiences can seem quite nuanced. Per community request, here are some of the key differences between OCD and Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD).

OCDGeneral Anxiety
Characterized by
compulsive or ritualistic
responses to…
Compulsive, ritualistic
coping mechanisms
are not typical.
neutralize, erase,
replace, or stop…
Characterized by
worrisome attempts to
problem-solve in
multiple areas of life.
unwanted and repetitive
thoughts, images,
and doubts (aka: obsessions)
accompanied by
physical symptoms.
which are often
hypothetical or
unrealistic in nature.
Worries focus on
relatively realistic
negative outcomes.