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How Do I Know if I Have Anxiety or Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder?

Mental health disorders don’t just happen overnight. Those close to you may notice minor changes but may not know what those changes mean. Unfortunately, it’s easy to miss early signs of mental health disorders like anxiety or obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

Learning how to spot early signs of anxiety or OCD can help you or a loved one take the proper steps to receive needed care. Early-stage treatment can potentially decrease the severity of the disorder. In some cases, early treatment can prevent or delay the disorder.

What Is Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder?

OCD is a form of anxiety. A person with OCD has uncontrollable behaviors, rituals, or thoughts. Unlike a person who worries if they lock a door or turn off the iron, a person with OCD can’t stop thinking about a situation. Some will ritualistically perform a task until they reach a specific spot where they can stop. For instance, if you need to turn a light switch on and off multiple amounts of times before you can enter a room, you may suffer from OCD. The exact cause of OCD has yet to be determined; however, there are multiple risk factors.

What Are the Signs of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder?

OCD disrupts a person’s life even if they know the behavior is unreasonable. However, therapy focused on the specific behavior can help. If you have any of the following symptoms, you can seek help by talking with a therapist:

  • Obsessions: If your thoughts are uncontrollable and consume your attention, you may have an obsession.
  • Rituals: Rituals are obsessions that disrupt your everyday life. Taking extraordinary care to avoid cracks on the sidewalk is an example of a ritual.
  • Checking and re-checking: If you constantly check and then re-check things like door locks or the stove, that can signify OCD.

What Are the Signs of Anxiety?

Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) can reveal itself in many ways. Going on a date, an important exam, or presenting in front of a group can increase fear or nervousness. However, if these feelings persist for an extended period of time, you may have an anxiety disorder.

A few signs of an anxiety disorder include:

  • A prolonged sense of dread or worry: You may have an anxiety disorder if you experience worry or dread for six months or more.
  • Restlessness or sleeplessness: Excessive worry about something or an event occurring the next day can disrupt your sleeping patterns. Additionally, the loss of sleep can affect your mental health leading to anxiety.
  • Heart palpitations or increased heart rate: A few prevalent physical symptoms of anxiety occur in your heart. If faced with a stressful situation, you may notice your heart rate increases and feels irregular.

Learning to recognize the signs of a mental health disorder at an early stage can help prevent or delay the condition. However, early signs of mental health disorders like anxiety or obsessive-compulsive disorder can go undiagnosed because their symptoms are mimicked by lesser forms of anxiety, like a panic attack. If you think you have an anxiety disorder, you can schedule an appointment with a staff member at The Guest House to discuss your symptoms. Our serene location in Ocala, Florida, is the perfect spot to find your mental well-being. Call (855) 483-7800.