The Differences Between ADHD and OCD: What You Should Know.


The diagnosis of ADHD has been seen by many leading experts as having Big Business implications in recent years. ADHD can lend itself to a sense of being easily bored, restless, daydreaming, distractible, and having difficulties concentrating, but there are also strengths, such as creativity and innovation. OCD by contrast is more a sign of having an obsessive-compulsive personality, which has a more extreme form of focus and intensity.

In cases where one suffered teasing as a child, and also possibly a single-minded focus on academic work and mastery, ADHD may have reinforced the tendencies. As many people are already aware, ADHD has been described as a combination of inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. However, more severe cases of ADHD can even be diagnosed with symptoms of obsessive-compulsiveness. Though just a fraction of people with ADHD have OCD, a significant number of them do have symptoms of obsessively checking, counting, and cleaning.

What is ADHD?

ADHD is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders of childhood. It is usually first diagnosed in childhood and often lasts into adulthood. Children with ADHD may have trouble paying attention, controlling impulsive behaviors (may act without thinking about what the result will be), or be overly active. (Source:

What is OCD?

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental health disorder that affects people of all ages and walks of life and occurs when a person gets caught in a cycle of obsessions and compulsions. Obsessions are unwanted, intrusive thoughts, images, or urges that trigger intensely distressing feelings. Compulsions are behaviors an individual engages in to attempt to get rid of the obsessions and/or decrease his or her distress. (Source:

The difference between ADHD & OCD

The differences between OCD and ADHD, in general, surpass their similar qualities. OCD is an anxiety (or distress) illness that causes a lot of negative mental stimuli, making the person suffering from it feel stuck inside their own internal obsessions. ADHD, on the other hand, is characterized by difficulties focusing and managing one's desires to react externally, which can lead to significant interpersonal conflict. Finally, the compulsions associated with OCD appear to be more repetitive than the seemingly random impulsive conduct displayed by people with ADHD.

Despite their differences, OCD and ADHD do have some things in common. For starters, the aberrant brain activity of the frontostriatal system, a high-order system responsible for motor, cognitive, and behavioral activity has been connected to both illnesses. However, the type of abnormal activity is completely different: people with OCD have substantially greater levels of activity in this system, whereas people with ADHD have significantly lower levels.

6 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All