Does OCD cause panic attacks

The question asked by people does OCD cause panic attacks? Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental health condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It is characterized by recurring, unwanted thoughts or obsessions and repetitive behaviors or compulsions. These obsessions and compulsions can consume a person’s life and lead to significant distress.

In this blog  post, we will explore the link between OCD and panic attacks and discuss potential treatment options.

Let’s dive in to get more details.

Does OCD cause panic attacks?

While OCD and panic attacks are two distinct disorders, they can often coexist in a person. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), about one-third of people with OCD also experience panic attacks. Both conditions share similar symptoms such as an intense feeling of fear or anxiety, physical sensations like fast heart rate and shortness of breath, and avoidance behaviors.

It is still unclear what causes OCD or panic attacks, but research suggests that a combination of genetic, biological, and environmental factors may play a role. As with many mental health conditions, people with a family history of OCD or panic disorder are more likely to develop these disorders themselves.

How do OCD and panic attacks coexist?

The question arises in people mind does OCD cause panic attacks? People with OCD often experience intrusive thoughts that cause extreme anxiety, leading them to engage in repetitive behaviors or mental rituals to alleviate their distress. These obsessions and compulsions can be triggered by a wide range of stimuli, including specific situations, objects, or thoughts.

People with panic disorder, on the other hand, experience sudden and unexpected episodes of intense fear or discomfort known as panic attacks. These attacks are usually accompanied by physical symptoms such as a racing heart, sweating, trembling, and dizziness.

The Link Between OCD and Panic Attacks

While not all individuals with OCD experience panic attacks, research suggests that there is a strong connection between the two. In fact, approximately 25% of people with OCD also experience panic attacks. This is significantly higher than the general population rate of 2-3%.

One theory is that the repetitive behaviors and avoidance strategies used to manage OCD can increase a person’s overall anxiety level, making them more prone to panic attacks. Additionally, both disorders may be caused by similar underlying brain chemistry imbalances.

Treatment Options

Fortunately, there are effective treatment options available for both OCD and panic attacks. For OCD specifically, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) has been shown to be highly effective in helping individuals manage their symptoms. CBT focuses on changing thought patterns and behaviors that contribute to OCD.

For panic attacks, therapy may also be helpful, along with medication such as antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications. It is essential to work with a mental health professional to determine the best treatment plan for each individual.

How to manage OCD and panic attacks in daily life

Managing OCD and panic attacks can be challenging, but with the right strategies, individuals can lead fulfilling lives. Some tips for managing these conditions on a daily basis include:

  • Practicing relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or meditation when feeling anxious or having intrusive thoughts
  • Creating a support system of friends, family, and mental health professionals to talk to and seek help from
  • Participating in activities that bring joy and relieve stress, such as exercise, hobbies, or spending time outdoors
  • Educating oneself about OCD and panic attacks to better understand the symptoms and how to manage them

Seeking Help

If you or someone you know is struggling with OCD and/or panic attacks, it is essential to seek help from a mental health professional. These disorders can significantly impact a person’s life, but with proper treatment and support, it is possible to manage symptoms and improve overall well-being.

Remember that seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness. Take the first step towards managing OCD and panic attacks by reaching out for support and finding a treatment plan that works for you.  By doing so, you can lead a more fulfilling and balanced life.  So don’t hesitate to seek help and take care of your mental health!


The most asked question by people who suffer from all this does OCD cause panic attacks? While OCD and panic attacks are two distinct disorders, they often coexist in individuals. The link between the two is still being studied, but research suggests that there may be a strong connection due to shared underlying brain chemistry imbalances. Fortunately, effective treatment options are available, and with proper management and support, individuals can lead fulfilling lives despite these conditions.

Remember to prioritize your mental health and seek help when needed – it is never too late to start taking care of yourself. 


Frequently asked questions by people.

How do you stop OCD panic attacks?

While there is no one-size-fits-all solution, seeking help from a mental health professional is the first step towards managing both OCD and panic attacks.

Can OCD cause severe anxiety?

Yes, OCD can cause severe anxiety as the repetitive thoughts and behaviors associated with this disorder can be extremely distressing for individuals. This increased anxiety may make a person more susceptible to panic attacks.

What type of OCD is aggressive?

The term “aggressive” or “violent” OCD is not an official diagnosis but may refer to a subtype of OCD where individuals experience intrusive thoughts related to causing harm or violence.

Leave A Comment