Author: Mirel T Goldstein, M.S., M.A., LPC
Although some forms of anxiety are helpful because they motivate us to take healthy action (for example, anxiety about illness might lead us to seek treatment), there are other times when feelings of anxiety can lead to a disorder (for example, if the anxiety doesn't make sense in a given situation, or if it is either so much or so intense that it interferes with a person's sense of wellness or quality of life). The diagnosis "Obsessive Compulsive Disorder" (OCD) specifically refers to a type of anxiety disorder in which anxiety over unwanted thoughts leads
to repetitive behaviors meant to decrease such anxiety. In this article, however, I will actually be using the term "OCD" rather loosely to refer to anxiety disorders in general that include components of OCD; either anxiety over unwanted thoughts, or repetitive behaviors that a person uses to manage anxiety, or both together.