Disorders Related to OCD

There are a variety of conditions that have obsessive compulsive disorder qualities that are quite similar to OCD such as PANDAS, body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), hoarding disorder, trichotillomania, compulsive skin picking, hypochondria, and olfactory reference syndrome. Many of these disorders are treated primarily with cognitive behavioral therapy. Individuals with OCD may also have other mental health conditions such as depression, attention deficit disorder/hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD), anxiety, Asperger syndrome, eating disorders and Tourette syndrome (TS).

Hoarding Disorder

Hoarding disorder is defined as the acquisition of, and inability to discard, worthless items even though they appear (to others) to have no value. People with compulsive hoarding syndrome may have immense difficulty throwing anything away, from the oldest paper clip, to a used food container, to an out-of-date newspaper, for fear that they might need those items in the future. If they have any doubt at all as to the value of an object, no matter how trivial, they will keep it "just in case." Animal hoarding is when someone has more pets than they’re able to take care of and deny this inability. When an individual struggles with hoarding animals, their inability to provide nutrition, shelter and veterinary care may become prevalent through the animal.


PANDAS, also known as pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorder associated with streptococcal infection, usually occurs before puberty. PANDAS may occur when a child suddenly and dramatically has OCD or tic-related symptoms following a strep infection. The symptoms appear to happen extremely sudden and may cause the child to become obsessive, compulsive, edgy, moody, irritated or anxious.


Trichotillomania is a condition that causes an individual to pull out hair from their scalp, eyelashes, eyebrows or any other part of their body. Hair is often pulled in an attempt to alleviate anxiety. It varies in severity and may cause bald patches.

Body Dysmorphic Disorder

Body dysmorphic disorder is a body-image condition with persistent and intrusive preoccupations with an imagined or slight defect in one's appearance. Those struggling with BDD dislike area(s) of their body. In reality, the alleged defect may be a minor imperfection or even nonexistent. For the person with BDD, the flaw is significant and projecting, often causing severe emotional distress and difficulties in daily functioning. For more information see Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD).

Skin Picking

Skin picking disorder (excoriation disorder/SPD) causes those who suffer from it to continually rub, touch, scratch or pick at their skin. This may be done in an attempt to remove minute irregularities or imperfections. The action may leave a scar and can even cause tissue damage or worse. These actions may occur as an attempt to eliminate feelings of fear or anxiety. People may spend several hours picking at their hair or skin.