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Dif betwn excessive vs. obsessional worries

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Old 09-04-2005, 07:11 AM   #1
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stefdoe HB User
Dif betwn excessive vs. obsessional worries

okay people, I need to know at what point does a worrier have General Anxiety Disorder vs. Pure Obsessional OCD. I got a shrink telling me that I have OCD. It very difficult for me to accept b/c I don't have "rituals". I don't use rituals to alleviate anxiety.

I admit, that if someone upsets or angers me I will think about this several times during the day sometimes up to a week (perhaps longer if I am trying to get some customer service issue resolved). I am a bit of a perfectionist, so if someone attempts to fix something that belongs to me, I get real ticked off if it is a bad "patch up" job.

Also, if someone I don't really (ie mother-in-law) makes a comment to me I sometimes will be overly sensitive and take comments too personal. This also could cause me to re-think or re-analyze a conversation. Kind of read between the lines and wonder if they were trying to insult me or what they exactly meant.

In addition, if I am about to have a important discussion with someone I will really think about the problem to decide on what I should say to get my point across.

So does this description of my worries just sound like "excessive worrying" from GAD????? Or does this sound too repetative to be GAD.

I need to someone to define the difference between "excessive worrying" vs. "obsessional worrying". Please help?? I don't want to be misdiagnosed.

Last edited by stefdoe; 09-04-2005 at 07:14 AM.

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Old 09-04-2005, 09:23 AM   #2
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GatsbyLuvr1920 HB UserGatsbyLuvr1920 HB User
Re: Dif betwn excessive vs. obsessional worries

Well, you came to the right place because, not only do I have OCD, but I have GAD as well! My OCD is obviously the most prevalent, but my therapist says that my GAD is so intertwined with my OCD, that it's impossible to see the GAD as a separate entity (unlike the OCD, which manifests itself in practically everything I do... ). It seems that even when I have GAD-related worries, it crosses the line, and becomes obsessional. For example, today, I have homework to do, and I'm already having a panic attack because I'm worried that I won't get it done, that I won't understand what I read and will consequently fail, feel guilty that I haven't started it, and feel nervous to actually start it. Now, yes, worries about success in school is usually a GAD worry because the person is worrying about a realistic event, excessively, but mine doesn't end at, "Oh, I have so much to do. I hope I can get everything done and make good grades..." Oh, no! Instead, mine becomes obsessional catastrophic thinking and I have the guilt that is so indicative of OCD. Another good example would be a few weeks ago, before I started college. Again, a person who only had GAD would worry about fitting in, doing well academically, and things along those lines that actually could happen, but my OCD had a field day with this for almost two months! "What if I fail and I can't become a {REMOVED}? Then, my mother will have wasted her money and I didn't become everything. What if I forget something that I'll need at home? What if I run out of shampoo, toothpaste, and other toiletries and I can't get to a store? What if I can't understand the material? I'm not smart enough to go to college. I'm stupid and I'm going to fail calculus..." These were just a fraction of the crap that spun around in my head for the past two months. Mine is pure "what if" obsessional worry about a typical GAD situation. Confusing, isn't it? I think that a GAD-er would see how silly it is to run out of something, but an OCD-er like me, must always stockpile, reorganize, and be prepared. Of course, I have straight blasphemous and violent (used to have sexual, too) obsessions not related to the GAD whatsoever, but these are prime examples of the two intertwined and connected. I think that some of my more realistic worries start out as excessive worrying, but then the catastrophic, "what if" thinking of OCD just takes it further and creates unrealistic worries. If you're suspected to have OCD, I would think you'd be more like me. For the longest time, I doubted I had OCD, too because I have very few compulsions- but, as it turned out, I have lots of compulsions and repetitive acts that I subconsciously do to keep my mind busy- they're just all mental compulsions! If you want to hear something really funny and ironic, I would research and research obsessively, checking and re-checking the OCD symptoms to see if I actually had it, or if I was just making myself think I did. When I was finally diagnosed last year, I still went on the Internet because I thought, "What if I don't have OCD? What if I'm just exaggerating and making the doctors think I do? What if I really just faking to get attention?" Of course, the irony is that only a true obsessive-compulsive would obsess over whether they really were obsessive-compulsive! I hoped this helped, and if you have any other questions, feel free to ask! God bless!
"Not everything that steps out of line, and thus 'abnormal,' must necessarily be 'inferior.'"
-Hans Asperger

Last edited by ms_mod; 09-04-2005 at 12:46 PM. Reason: Please re-read the posting rules as to why your post was edited. Thanks, Ms_Mod

Old 09-04-2005, 07:02 PM   #3
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debill HB User
Re: Dif betwn excessive vs. obsessional worries

My therapist told be that I dont have OCD but I have OCP and with generalized anxiety disorder. I thought the OCD and OCP where the same thing but he said Obsessive compulsive personality is not like repeating things over and over like washing hands and checking on things but rather we really dwell on things mentally to the point where high levels of anxiety come in. Then the obsessions and anxiety get all mixed together and we become miserable.

I do this with my health problems.

Hope this helps. deb

Last edited by debill; 09-04-2005 at 07:06 PM.

Old 09-05-2005, 04:37 AM   #4
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uk_worried_guy HB User
Re: Dif betwn excessive vs. obsessional worries

OCP - that sounds pretty much EXACTLY what i have you know - though ive never seen anyone about it - things which normally would be tiny little things turn into MASSIVE rings of "what if" scenarios - which end with me getting INCREDIBLY anxious - its horrible!!!

Old 09-05-2005, 08:05 AM   #5
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stefdoe HB User
Re: Dif betwn excessive vs. obsessional worries

Thanks for the posting guys, it helps me a lot.

By this morning (before I read the last two postings) I decided I did have OCD w/ some Obsessive compulsive personality disorder (OCPD) traits. When I first started researching about OCD, I read the description Of OCPD and thought "Dang that sounds more like me than the OCD description" - I'm just more of a perfectionistic jerk than OCD sufferer.

The OCPD and GAD combo does make a lot of sense b/c I don't have the typical OCD rituals!

One thing that does bug me is that my mom has told me she every once in awhile she would start to count pieces of laundry as she puts them in the washer and would stop once she caught herself doing it. She even said she has counted her stairs if she is cleaning or going down them. This behavior started about ten years ago. I don't believe she does it all the time though.

So there probably is a predisposition to OCD in the family and I'm probably not experiencing the full-blown symptoms of OCD. But I have been obsessing about whether I have OCD and as you said GatsbyLuvr1920 only a sufferer would do that. It could be part OCPD only seeing things in black and white- no gray, because I don't fit into the exact mold of OCD symptoms I read about.

But I really feel like at this point the OCPD and GAD combo makes complete sense. Now I just need to accept that either way it (OCD or OCPD & GAD) all falls under the anxiety category. I just hope that if my therapist is treating me for OCD and I have OCPD & GAD the therapy will still work. I will ask him. I keep trying to tell him I have a hard time buying the OCD diagnosis. I told him I'll just do what he says and if the OCD therapy works then I got my answer (for whether I have OCD or not).

Debill do you know of any good books about OCPD? What type of therapy does your therapist do? I'm doing obsession inoculation-kind of like overexposure to things that aren't perfect. He's trying to desensitize me.

I just don't want to be misdiagnosed. I kind of look at the situation like a car analogy. If you have a car not running right, you have to first diagnose the problem properly to fix the car.

I guess either way I now realize and understand after many many years that my problems are more than just GAD.

Old 09-05-2005, 04:42 PM   #6
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debill HB User
Re: Dif betwn excessive vs. obsessional worries

I don't know of any good books on that subject yet but I am probably going to ask my therapist this week to recommend one. I just starting seeing him. He hasn't taught me any tricks of the trade yet. He had me take some test last week that showed my OCPD and axniety. The scores were through the roof along with moderate depression. We are supposed be starting to learn coping skill next week. I will post after I have my appt. so you can check it out.


Old 09-06-2005, 05:18 AM   #7
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stefdoe HB User
Re: Dif betwn excessive vs. obsessional worries

Thanks Debill I would appreciate any additional info you get on OCPD.

Even if my doctor thinks I have OCD, I still want to learn about OCPD. Because I may have some aspects of OCPD even if I do have OCD. I know in some areas of life I'm just too picky that is why stuff bothers me (ie my husband doesn't get riled-up like me).

thanks again.

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