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  • How to Differentiate Between OCD and Social Anxiety Disorder



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    Old 05-16-2008, 08:47 PM   #1
    magicjordan
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    How to Differentiate Between OCD and Social Anxiety Disorder

    I began seeing a therapist for OCD a few months ago but have since stopped. I realized that while I have OCD, I also have Social Anxiety which is the more prevalent and powerful of the two. So I shifted towards therapy for my social anxiety.

    During my OCD therapy I was told not to fight the recurring thoughts, but rather to confront them. I would write down my obsessive thoughts on a notecard and concentrate on them to get my anxiety levels as high as possible. Then eventually I noticed the anxiety related with those thoughts gradually decreasing and the thoughts not occurring as much altogether.

    Now when I started Social Anxiety Therapy I was told to distract myself from automatic negative thoughts by thinking of something else or doing something to take my mind off of it. This is in fact the complete opposite of the OCD therapy. The point made by my therapist is that when you try to stop thinking about something thats when it likes to occur more, so it seems paradoxal that I use this technique for SAD. So I THINK I'm starting to get a grasp on the difference between SAD and OCD, from my estimation one is more an automatic feeling of anxiety and inadequacy...while the other is more obsessing over a particular event or having taboo thoughts. It seems that once I separated the two, both techniques seem to have helped thus far.

    Does anyone here have both? How would someone officially differentiate between the two and handle each one?

    Last edited by magicjordan; 05-16-2008 at 08:51 PM.

     
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    Old 05-21-2008, 04:54 PM   #2
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    Re: How to Differentiate Between OCD and Social Anxiety Disorder

    anyone?????

     
    Old 05-25-2008, 07:40 PM   #3
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    Re: How to Differentiate Between OCD and Social Anxiety Disorder

    I have both Social Anxiety disorder and Obsessive Compulsive disorder. I haven't been diagnosed with these officially, although I did recieve help for my Social Anxiety as a child, so I don't actually know what therapy entails myself. Both are anxiety disorders, that usually go hand in hand, so I'm guessing that relief from one would consequently relieve the other. I find my Social Anxiety disorder easier to manage, when I rationalise my fears by telling myself "They're just strangers who you will never see again" or "They're just human like you, they won't judge you for stuttering"(I stutter or freeze up when I'm anxious in social situations) so I think what your therapist is saying is to dismiss your worries, and think of the positives (the outcome of the event). You also feel a massive sense of accomplishment when you push yourself to dismiss your worries and speak, so its all worth it. With OCD, because its intrusive and unwanted thoughts or compulsions or feelings etc. and not so much a reaction to events like SAD, the treatment would be most likely be slightly different. I'm not really there yet with my OCD so I don't have any advice on how to handle that. I've noticed that SAD is more of a gut-feeling that starts before the dreaded event, a reaction to being in a social situation and feeling you are being watched and judged, and being very aware that this anxiety is showing, whereas OCD is more of a sudden urge or thought that stays until you do a task to relieve it, while being aware its irrational but nontheless still performing. SAD doesn't feel as irrational, more of an exagerrated reaction. Anyway I hope I've heped, even if its just by knowing your not alone.

    Last edited by chickenxx; 05-25-2008 at 07:46 PM.

     
    Old 05-26-2008, 03:29 AM   #4
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    Re: How to Differentiate Between OCD and Social Anxiety Disorder

    Well social anxiety and OCD are alike in that they relate to anxiety caused by "irrational beliefs". Therapy for both includes exposure to thoughts and challenging irrational beliefs and replacing them with more rational ones.

    Sounds a bit like the therapy for your social anxiety is avoiding it, trying to distract - I would think the best therapy would be to challenge the thoughts that underly your anxiety - Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. Are you seeing the same therapist for both the OCD and SAD?

    Ammy

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by magicjordan View Post
    I began seeing a therapist for OCD a few months ago but have since stopped. I realized that while I have OCD, I also have Social Anxiety which is the more prevalent and powerful of the two. So I shifted towards therapy for my social anxiety.

    During my OCD therapy I was told not to fight the recurring thoughts, but rather to confront them. I would write down my obsessive thoughts on a notecard and concentrate on them to get my anxiety levels as high as possible. Then eventually I noticed the anxiety related with those thoughts gradually decreasing and the thoughts not occurring as much altogether.

    Now when I started Social Anxiety Therapy I was told to distract myself from automatic negative thoughts by thinking of something else or doing something to take my mind off of it. This is in fact the complete opposite of the OCD therapy. The point made by my therapist is that when you try to stop thinking about something thats when it likes to occur more, so it seems paradoxal that I use this technique for SAD. So I THINK I'm starting to get a grasp on the difference between SAD and OCD, from my estimation one is more an automatic feeling of anxiety and inadequacy...while the other is more obsessing over a particular event or having taboo thoughts. It seems that once I separated the two, both techniques seem to have helped thus far.

    Does anyone here have both? How would someone officially differentiate between the two and handle each one?

     
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