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Are OCD and PTSD The Same Thing?

Are OCD and PTSD the same thing? Well, it depends on who you ask.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are anxiety conditions that can occur in people with a history of trauma or abuse. It is important to note that it is possible to have OCD and PTSD at the same time. In fact, a 2014 study suggests that approximately 30% of people with PTSD will also develop OCD within a year. Thus, statistics suggest that almost 13% of people with a diagnosis of PTSD also have a diagnosis of OCD and vice versa. The causes, signs and symptoms, and treatment for OCD with or without PTSD may vary, so it is important to discuss your concerns with a qualified trauma counselor or therapist.


What is OCD?

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental health condition that occurs when unwanted obsessions and compulsions not only consume your energy and time, but also negatively affect your quality of life. OCD is a severe form of anxiety that causes you to have involuntary obsessive thoughts that recur. People with OCD tend to engage in “detailed” rituals and routines as a way to ease or eliminate the obsessions that are causing them to have anxiety.

In the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), OCD is categorized with other similar anxiety-related conditions, such as hoarding disorder, body-dysmorphic disorder, and trichotillomania. The purpose of this article is to help you better understand OCD and PTSD, so you can determine if you are struggling with one or both of these conditions.

If you think you may be experiencing OCD and/or PTSD, it is important that you make an appointment with a qualified trauma-based mental health specialist. With the proper treatment, you can effectively manage your condition, so you can have the healthy, happy, and productive life you’ve always wanted.

What Causes OCD?

The cause of OCD varies from person-to-person, however, certain factors, such as biology, genetics, and stress appear to play a significant role in its development and progression.

  • Biology

    Studies suggest that OCD may occur when the region of the brain that “controls” your thoughts, perceptions, impulses, emotions, and beliefs “breaks down” or “malfunctions.” When you have OCD, it can be hard to determine which thoughts, perceptions, impulses, and beliefs are real and valid and which ones are not. This is where obsessions and compulsions come into play.

    Researchers believe that low serotonin levels may disrupt brain activity, leading to or worsening OCD in some individuals. Various regions of the brain need serotonin to properly communicate with each other. When the serotonin level is low, the brain is unable to effectively send messages to various parts of the brain. As a result, increasing the amount of serotonin in the body may help some people with OCD receive some much-need relief.

  • Genetics

    Some researchers suggest that genetics may play an important role in the development of OCD. Understand, however, that a specific gene or cluster of genes have not been identified at this time. However, studies indicate that you may be at-risk of developing OCD, if someone in your family has it or if someone in your family has an anxiety disorder. In fact, researchers have found that there is a 25% chance that you will develop OCD, if you, a parent, or a sibling have been diagnosed with it or a similar condition.

  • Stress

    Lastly, stress appears to contribute to the development and progression of OCD. Studies suggest that certain factors, such as job loss or unemployment, relationship problems, chronic illnesses or disabilities, marriage or remarriage, divorce, the birth of a baby, work or school issues, etc. may trigger OCD in some individuals.

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What are the Signs and Symptoms of OCD?

OCD involves repetitive and involuntary obsessions and compulsions. Contrary to popular belief, if you have this condition, you may experience just obsessions, just compulsions, or both obsessions and compulsions. It just depends on the individual. Also, keep in mind that the signs and symptoms of OCD typically present over time, so it can be difficult to initially recognize them. However, if left untreated, OCD tends to worsen over time. For some, OCD can be debilitating, impacting various areas of their lives, such as friendships, romantic relationships, family dynamics, school or work relationships, self-esteem and self-confidence, and everyday functioning.

Are There Different Forms of OCD?

Yes, there are different forms of OCD.

OCD can present in a variety of ways. As mentioned above, it is possible to experience obsessions without the compulsions. Similarly, it is possible to experience compulsions without obsessions. It is also possible to experience both obsessions and compulsions.

Although, DSM-V does not list any OCD “subtypes,” studies suggest that most obsessions and compulsions stem from the following:

  • An obsession with cleanliness or a fear of “contamination
  • “Perfectionism” or a preoccupation with orderliness and rules
  • Intrusive thoughts that are largely considered “taboo” by society
  • An urge or need to collect or hoard people and things

Other forms of OCD may involve repetitive behaviors like rechecking actions dozens of times, recounting items several times and/or hyper-focusing on intrusive and disturbing thoughts, images, and feelings to the point of feeling controlled by them.

How is OCD Diagnosed?

First, it is important to understand that just because a person repetitively performs certain actions or engages in specific habits, it doesn’t automatically mean he or she is exhibiting OCD-related compulsions. The truth is we all have “moments” when we “double check” our actions because we can’t remember if we turned off the stove or where we’ve placed our keys, coat, backpack, or purse. Most of us have also become “fixated” on something (experience, feeling, thought, or image) that disturbed us at one time or another.

However, to receive an official diagnosis of OCD, one must engage in the following behaviors:

  • An inability to control your thoughts and/or behaviors, even when they are irrational, faulty, or unrealistic
  • Obsessions and/or compulsions that consume several hours of your day
  • Thoughts and behaviors that impact or disrupt your daily routines and quality of life
  • Hyper-focusing on certain things and/or performing specific behaviors, even though they make you unhappy, just to temporarily ease your stress and anxiety

Keep in mind that approximately 2% of the general population will develop OCD within their lifetimes. Males and females of every race, culture, religion, social-economic statuses, educational backgrounds, and sexual orientation are equally diagnosed with this condition. Moreover, it typically presents during adolescence (late teens and early adulthood), although young children and middle-age and older adults can also be affected. Although, it can take longer to diagnose young children and teens with OCD, because they tend to hide the “signs” of it from their parents and teachers.

How is OCD Treated?

OCD is typically treated with medication(s) and/or counseling or therapy. However, mild cases may be treated with self-help and alternative methods, such as deep brain stimulation, repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS), relaxation techniques, self-care, exercise, and support.

Note: It is important that you check with your doctor before stopping or altering your treatment plan.

Listed below are the various ways OCD can be effectively managed:

  • Medication

    One of the most traditional ways to treat OCD is with psychotropics (prescription medications). The purpose of these medications is to reduce the frequency and severity of obsessions and compulsions. The most common medications used to treat OCD are: Sertraline (Zoloft), Clomipramine (Anafranil), Fluoxetine (Prozac), Paroxetine (Paxil), and Fluvoxamine (Luvox). Studies suggest that anti-anxiety medications can boost a low serotonin level, a possible trigger of OCD.

  • Psychotherapy

    Another traditional way that OCD is treated is through psychotherapy. This treatment approach is designed to help change disturbing or unrealistic thought patterns (obsessions) and reduce repetitive behaviors (compulsions). According to researchers, a combination of two psychotherapies: cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and exposure and response prevention (ERP) therapy can ease OCD symptoms and lower one’s risk of “OCD flares.”

  • Experimental Treatments

    Experimental treatments are yet another way OCD can be treated. Approximately 35% of people with OCD will not respond to traditional treatments (medication or psychotherapy). In such cases, experimental OCD treatments may be a viable option.

    Because brain communication is disrupted in people with OCD, studies suggest that focusing on specific regions of the brain could reduce or even eliminate OCD symptoms in people, who have not responded well to traditional OCD treatments. Thus, experimental treatments like deep brain stimulation may improve brain function, and consequently, ease OCD symptoms in these individuals. Another promising experimental OCD treatment is repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS).

    According to a recent study, rTMS may reduce OCD symptoms in people, who are resistant to traditional or first-line OCD treatments. However, study results have been mixed on if or how effective this experimental treatment is for people with OCD.

  • Self-Help

    Although it is important to consult a qualified mental health specialist, if you suspect that you have OCD, there may be things you can do to reduce the symptoms until you can receive the proper treatment.

    Listed below are strategies you can use right now to help you manage your obsessions and/or compulsions:

  • Self-Care

    Self-care is extremely important if you are struggling with OCD. A healthy diet, regular exercise, and proper sleep can help you feel less stressed and more “grounded.”

    Keep in mind that stress often triggers or aggravates OCD symptoms, so taking care of your needs is imperative to keeping your anxiety level in-check and your OCD symptoms at-bay.

    In fact, studies indicate that sleep disorders, inadequate sleep, insomnia, nightmares, and night terrors are associated with frequent and more extreme OCD behaviors. Thus, learning effective coping methods and adopting a healthy lifestyle may help ease your stress and calm your anxiety, so you feel more prepared to tackle anything that comes your way.

  • Relaxation Techniques

    Relaxation techniques can also help reduce or eliminate OCD symptoms when they arise. These techniques include: yoga, mindfulness meditation, deep breathing exercises, visualization, journaling, and progressive muscle relaxation (PMR).

  • Regular Exercise

    Regular exercise is not only good for your body, but also your mind. Exercising boosts your “feel good” hormones, serotonin, endorphins, dopamine, and oxytocin, which can alleviate stress and anxiety, and as a result, improve OCD symptoms.

  • Support Groups

    Have you thought about joining a support group? If not, you may want to consider doing just that. Support groups can be found on and off the Internet. OCD Tribe is an online OCD support group for people with the condition and their loved ones. Another reputable organization that offers OCD support groups is the International OCD Foundation. This organization provides phone, online and in-person support for people living with OCD.

    Support groups provide people and their loved ones with an outlet to share their experiences, learn coping mechanisms, and gain support from others, who are also having similar experiences.

What is PTSD?

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a trauma/stress anxiety condition. It typically occurs after a traumatic or extremely stressful event. You can experience PTSD once or many times (chronic or recurrent). PTSD typically involves a wide-range of “emotional disturbances” that can negatively impact one’s quality of life (work, social, and romantic relationships, friendships, productivity, family dynamics, and self-esteem and self-confidence).

Understand that approximately 8 million Americans currently suffer from PTSD, and 8% of Americans will eventually develop PTSD. Also, keep in mind that approximately 70% of American adults will experience a traumatic event at one point in their lives. Understand, however, that most people who experience a traumatic event will not develop PTSD.

What Causes PTSD?

PTSD occurs after a person experiences, witnesses, or learns about a traumatic event involving a perceived or actual threat of harm or death, a life-altering injury, or sexual assault or sexual abuse. But, the exact cause of PTSD varies from person-to-person.

However, the common consensus from mental health professionals is that the cause stems from a variety of factors, such as:

  • Repeatedly experiencing stressful events
  • A genetic disposition or vulnerability to mental health conditions (a family history of depression, a mood disorder, and/or anxiety)
  • Personality traits or your temperament
  • The way your brain controls the production of the hormones released when you’re experiencing stress

Some factors can increase your risk of experiencing PTSD, such as:

  • Your previous mental and physical state
  • How you responded or reacted to the trauma
  • The type of trauma you experienced
  • Your gender
  • Your age
  • Your marital status
  • Your support system
  • Any stressors that occurred following the traumatic event

Note: Researchers are currently studying the relationship between genetics and PTSD. Some studies suggest that there are specific genes that appear to influence the development of a variety of mental health conditions like clinical depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders, and PTSD. Studies also suggest that females are more likely to experience PTSD than males.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of PTSD?

The signs and symptoms of PTSD typically present within 30 days of the trauma. However, these signs and symptoms may not surface until many years following the event. PTSD can wreak havoc in your personal life, at your job, and in your friendships. It can also interfere with your daily routines.

PTSD signs and symptoms are usually grouped into 4 categories: upsetting or disturbing memories, evasion or deliberate avoidance behaviors, mood swings, and changes in thought processes, emotions, and reactions. Keep in mind, however, that the signs and symptoms of PTSD may fluctuate or change over time.

Listed below are the 4 categories of PTSD signs and symptoms:

  • A. Upsetting & Disturbing Memories
    • Reoccurring, uninvited, troubling memories of the traumatic event
    • Re-experiencing the traumatic event over and over again through flashbacks
    • Disturbing dreams, nightmares, or night terrors about the traumatic event
    • Extreme emotional or psychological distress or visceral reactions to reminders of the traumatic event
  • B. Deliberate Avoidance
    • Deliberate avoidance of any thoughts or dialogue about the traumatic event
    • Evading any place, activity, objects, songs, movies, or even people that remind you of the traumatic event
  • C. Mood Swings
    • Damaging and destructive thoughts about yourself, other people, and the world around you
    • Bleak feelings about the future (feelings of hopelessness and helplessness)
    • Short-term and/or long-term memory problems, such as forgetting important details
    • Trouble developing and maintaining relationships
    • The feeling of being isolated from friends and family
    • A lack of interest in activities you used to love and enjoy
    • An inability to feel joy, happiness, and satisfaction
    • Disorientation or a feeling of emotional “emptiness”
  • D. Changes in Thought Processes, Emotions, and Reactions
    • Startling or scaring easily
    • Constantly being “on guard” or “on the lookout” for danger
    • Self-destructive behaviors, such as being promiscuous, doing drugs, drinking too much alcohol, or “acting out”
    • Insomnia or being unable to fall or stay asleep at night
    • Inattention or being unable to concentrate or focus on the task at-hand
    • Crankiness, anger, and/or aggression
    • Feeling guilty or ashamed

Are There Different Types of PTSD?

Yes! There are four distinct types of PTSD.

The four types of PTSD are dissociative, delayed onset, acute, and complex.

  1. Dissociative PTSD

    Dissociative PTSD involves the constant and/or recurring “depersonalization” (observing an traumatic experience “outside of the body” or feeling like the trauma is happening to someone other than oneself) or “derealization” (sensing that the traumatic event didn’t really happen or isn’t real or being “disconnected from others”).

  2. Delayed Onset PTSD

    Delayed onset PTSD involves the late arrival of signs and symptoms. It is important to understand that delayed onset PTSD may not immediately present following the traumatic event. In fact, this form of PTSD could take 6 months or more to manifest. However, it is possible for a person to experience a slight or subtle change in his or her mental state immediately following the traumatic event, but not experience more significant or extreme signs and symptoms until 6 months or more later.

  3. Acute PTSD

    Acute PTSD involves an isolated or one-time traumatic event, such as being injured in a motorcycle accident, car crash, or being raped, shot, or held at gunpoint. These events are considered isolated or acute because they are unlikely to happen again.

  4. Complex PTSD

    Complex PTSD involves chronic or reoccuring traumatic events, such as child abuse or neglect, or domestic violence. A person with complex PTSD has continuously experienced trauma over time.

How is PTSD Diagnosed?

Understand that you don’t have to have all the signs and symptoms of PTSD to be diagnosed with the condition. In fact, most people with PTSD only experience a couple of the signs and symptoms of it. Thus, to be officially diagnosed with PTSD all you need is some of the signs and symptoms.

Some of the factors considered before making an official diagnosis include: (1) the initial response to the traumatic event, (2) the length of time that you have been experiencing the signs and symptoms, and (3) the impact these signs and symptoms have had on your daily life and functioning. However, to be properly diagnosed with PTSD, you must consult a qualified mental health professional.

How is PTSD Treated?

PTSD is treated in a variety of ways, however, the most common ways include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), exposure therapy, acceptance therapy, and/or eye-movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy. Although studies have found that these psychological interventions are beneficial for people with PTSD, in some cases, anti-anxiety medications, alternative treatments, and self-help tools are also used to help ease PTSD signs and symptoms.

  1. Psychotherapies
    • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

      CBT focuses on altering how you think about and behave in certain situations. It involves changing unhealthy attitudes, belief systems, thinking patterns, and even emotions and moods – all of which can affect your behavior.

    • Exposure Therapy

      Exposure therapy focuses on reducing or eliminating your worries and concerns, apprehension, and anxiety, through gradual exposure, so you are less “fearful” and “avoidant” towards stressful or overwhelming people, feelings, thoughts, and situations.

    • Acceptance Therapy

      Acceptance therapy involves coming to terms with the idea that your suffering does not stem from emotional pain, and instead from your desire to “avoid” or “hide from” that pain. Thus, the focus of this psychotherapy is to help you become more open towards examining your fears and addressing them, so you can move forward in your life.

      The aim is to get you to stop avoiding the thoughts, memories, emotions, people, or situations that scare or upset you. The belief is that once you accept your fears and commit to the therapy process, you’ll be on the road to healing and recovery.

    • Eye-Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing (EMDR)

      EMDR is another psychotherapy that has proved to be beneficial for some people with PTSD. EMDR involves thinking about the traumatic event, while also focusing on what is happening around you.

      The goal of this treatment is to focus on what you’re seeing (outside stimulus) and feeling, while thinking about the event. The belief is that by doing this, you’ll be able to form new, more positive associations (images) when it comes to the trauma you experienced.

  2. PTSD Medications

    Studies suggest that certain prescription medications can relieve severe anxiety and PTSD symptoms. These medications tend to be temporary due to the high risk of abuse and addiction. These medications include antidepressants, anti-anxiety meds, and prazosin.

    Note: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the following selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) medications: Zoloft and Paxil for PTSD treatment.

  3. Alternative Treatments

    Researchers suggest that people with PTSD may benefit from acupuncture. Acupuncture involves the inserting micro-sized needles into target points on your body. The belief is that focusing on these target points can help relieve stress and center the body and mind, thus, easing anxiety and reducing PTSD signs and symptoms.

  4. Self-Help Tools

    Self-help tools can help you manage your PTSD signs and symptoms, while you wait for an “official diagnosis.” They can also be used in addition to your existing treatment plan.

    These self-help strategies include the following:

    • Following your prescribed treatment plan

      If you want to receive relief from your PTSD signs and symptoms you must follow your treatment plan. More specifically, you must go to your therapy appointments and/or take your medication(s) as prescribed. Although, it takes time for medications to build-up in your system and for you to receive clarity and relief from therapy, it is important that you keep going. If you quit prematurely, your PTSD signs and symptoms will most likely continue or even worsen over time.

    • Educating yourself on your condition

      It is important for you to learn as much as you can about PTSD, if you suspect you are struggling with it. The best way to effectively manage your PTSD symptoms is by understanding the signs and triggers of it, and by identifying what you are thinking and feeling. This will help you cope with what you’re experiencing in a healthy and more productive way.

    • Paying attention to your own needs

      It is common to neglect our needs when we’re experiencing something upsetting or traumatic. Our diet, sleep, and expertise tends to go to the wayside because we’re consumed with what we’re experiencing. However, that is the worst thing to do, especially when you are experiencing PTSD or PTSD-like signs and symptoms.

      Thus, the best thing you can do in this situation is to get proper rest and sleep, consume healthy fruits, veggies, water, lean meats, etc., and get regular exercise. It is also important to make time for the things and people, who bring you joy. These individuals and activities will help ease your stress and anxiety and curb your PTSD symptoms. So, the key to this tip is to find enjoyable ways to relax.

    • Refrain from doing drugs or drinking alcohol

      Relying on drugs and alcohol to take away the pain or to numb yourself is the worst thing you can do if you are grappling with PTSD or PTSD-like signs and symptoms. These vices only temporarily dull the pain or distress, which means once the effects wear off the memories and images often return in full-force.

      So, the best thing you can do when the memories and images of the traumatic event become overwhelming is to find something productive to do like go to the gym, work on a hobby, take a walk, or call a friend. Doing these things will help you re-focus, so you don’t feel the need to compound one problem with another.

    • Reach out

      Reach out to others when you are feeling stressed or anxious. For instance, increase the time you spend with friends and loved ones. Or, share your worries and concerns with your faith leader or people you trust and who you know genuinely care about you. Sharing your concerns, feelings, and issues with others can be quite healing.

      It also can help you feel less alone because you have a tribe of people, who care about you, standing with you. You can also reach out by joining an online or in-person support PTSD group. Support groups are great because they help you connect with others who are experiencing something similar as you.

Is There a Relationship Between OCD and PTSD?


The truth is the jury is still out when it comes to a definite relationship between OCD and PTSD. Regardless, it is important that you consult a qualified mental health professional, if you suspect that you are experiencing OCD or PTSD symptoms. During your initial visit with a psychotherapist, don’t forget to mention all of your traumatic events because this information will help your doctor make a proper diagnosis and develop an effective treatment plan for you.

How are OCD and PTSD Similar? How are they Different?

Some experts believe there is a relationship between OCD and PTSD, while others believe there is not.

How are OCD and PTSD similar?

Experts, who believe that OCD and PTSD are similar, cite the fact that disturbing and upsetting thoughts and images occur in both conditions. As such, people with OCD and those with PTSD try to reduce their anxiety by performing “neutralizing” behaviors. In people with OCD, these behaviors are called “compulsions” and in people with PTSD, they are called “avoidant behaviors.”

Compulsions may involve repeatedly re-checking, organizing, or collecting things. These behaviors make people with OCD feel more in control of their lives. They also make these individuals feel more protected and less stressed, overwhelmed, or anxious. Unfortunately, however, these solutions are only temporary and will continue until they receive the proper treatment.

PTSD-related “avoidant behaviors” are designed to “push out” or reduce distressing thoughts by hiding from them. These individuals tend to avoid any situation that is linked to the traumatic event. People with PTSD also tend to isolate themselves from others as a way to block images and thoughts (linked to the trauma) from entering or consuming their minds.

Another similarity between the two conditions is the diagnosis and treatment process. Mental health professionals diagnose and treat both conditions in a similar manner – psychotherapy and medication. Ultimately, treatment involves identifying “neutralizing behaviors” (routines and rituals) in the case of OCD or helping people with PTSD address the trauma and identify their “neutralizing behaviors” (avoidance and isolation), so they can become “desensitized” to their triggers – i.e. fears, worries, and concerns.

Both conditions also stem from stress and anxiety. This is why some mental health experts feel that they are different forms of the same disorder, or at the very minimum, linked because of their similarities.

And, similar to people with PTSD, people with OCD can develop rituals and routines due to trauma. For instance, a person whose house burned down because he or she forgot to turn off the oven before heading work may need to re-check the stove 5, 10, or 20 times before feeling safe enough to leave the house. Just like PTSD, a past trauma triggered this behavior.

Lastly, similar to OCD, people with PTSD tend to develop their own rituals and routines over time to help them cope with the memories and feelings associated with the trauma. For instance, a woman, who was sexually assaulted at the mall, may deliberately avoid the mall, opting to shop at small standalone retail shops because of what happened to her. This then becomes her ritual or routine. In this way, OCD and PTSD behaviors are similar.

Ultimately, both conditions involve triggers and specific stress-relieving behaviors.

How are the two conditions different?

Some experts believe that to have PTSD, you must have experienced at least one traumatic event. Also, you must deal with your trauma by “blocking out” images, emotions, and memories of it. This is considered “avoidant behaviors.”

Although people with OCD exhibit similar behaviors to “block out” upsetting or disturbing images, there is a slight difference. People with PTSD are trying to “block out” or stop these images, feelings, and memories because of something terrible that happened to them, while this may not be necessarily true for people with OCD – although it can be.

People with OCD perform certain behaviors because they feel like they have forgotten something. This feeling does not go away until they perform certain compulsions (rituals or routines). While a person with PTSD avoids doing certain things or seeing certain people because they trigger distressing memories of a traumatic event. This individual tries to escape or avoid these things (behaviors triggered by the memories, thoughts, or images) because they cause them distress. Thus, the intent behind the behaviors is different.

Also, people with OCD tend to experience these thoughts and perform these behaviors more frequently than people with PTSD. For instance, a person with OCD may need to perform their rituals and routines over and over again throughout the day to experience relief, while people with PTSD may only be triggered occasionally, for instance, when a memory arises or when they encounter an image that causes them to remember what happened to them.

This may happen once a day, week, month, year, or after several years. It may not be a daily need or urge. So, with PTSD, there is usually a trigger that brings back the memory, which then causes the person to perform “avoidant behaviors.”

In Summary

Although researchers are still unclear if OCD and PTSD should be categorized together, there is little doubt that the two conditions resemble each other in some aspects. For instance, negative thoughts, ritualistic and avoidant behaviors, and anxiety are upsetting and disturbing to people with OCD and those with PTSD.

And, because the two conditions are similar, the available treatments are practically the same for both – medication and/or psychotherapy. Researchers suggest that antidepressants, anti-anxiety, and psychotherapy like CBT, can ease OCD and PTSD symptoms (i.e. flashbacks, negative thoughts and emotions, and ritualistic and avoidant behaviors).

CBT can help people with OCD or PTSD better understand how their unhealthy and aversive thoughts, perceptions, memories, emotions, and thought processes can affect their behavior, and negatively impact their lives. It can also help these individuals identify their triggers and learn how to cope and manage their symptoms in healthier ways.

Ultimately, CBT can help people with OCD and PTSD change their negative or damaging thoughts, emotions, and behaviors into more positive and healthier ones. It can also help “desensitize” people to aversive thoughts, so they have less power over their behavior and lives.

However, the exact relationship between OCD and PTSD is still largely unknown. Most experts can agree that both conditions share similarities and differences. However, some experts believe the two conditions are just different forms of the same conditio, other ones believe they are two separate and distinct conditions. So, even though OCD and PTSD appear to be similar, they do not appear to be the same condition. However, more research is needed to pinpoint the exact relationship between OCD and PTSD.

It doesn’t matter if you have OCD or PTSD, there are effective treatments that can help you identify and address your symptoms. And, guess what? Medication and psychotherapy aren’t the only treatments at your disposal, there are self-help tools, and alternative and experimental treatments that you can use until you can seek the proper help. The good news is, even though we have to wait for researchers to determine if OCD and PTSD, these conditions do not have to rule your life. With the proper treatment and support, you can control them instead.

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Dr. R. Y. Langham has a B.A. in English, an M.M.F.T in Marriage and Family Therapy (Psychology), and a Ph.D. in Family Psychology. She is currently a medical, health & wellness contributor, copywriter, and psychological consultant

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