What’s the difference between tics and tic-related OCD? (And what do we do about it?)

OCD: A Two-Part Series

Part 1

In today’s episode of Overpowering Emotions, I kick off my comorbidity series in which I talk about anxiety and other diagnoses it likes to hang out with.

Today I discuss the difference between tics and tic-related Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Both can have disruptive and embarrassing symptoms that can interfere with daily functioning. There is a lot of overlap between the two, highlighting the close relationship they have with each other.

The majority of kiddos with one likely also have experienced the other. And, clinically, distinguishing complex tics from compulsions can be extremely tricky.

Understanding the difference between the two is important because the function of the behaviours we see are usually very different, even when anxiety is in the mix with both. Therefore, how we treat them is very different as well.

It is essential to understand the relationship between OCD and tics to optimize children and teens’ success. Be sure to hear more about these differences between tics and compulsions and what to watch out for.

LISTEN IN to today’s episode!

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Part 2

Today is way shorter than most but I want to add another important point about tics, OCD, and anxiety. Although understanding the differences is important (tune in last week if you missed it!) because treatment options can be very different, how adults respond to tics, obsessions and compulsions, or anxious thoughts is very similar.

And yes, there are ways that help our kiddos manage the difficulties they experience and ways that only make things worse. In today’s episode, I re-emphasize the importance of responding effectively when anxiety (and all its manifestations) shows up.

Whether it is tics, anxiety, or big emotional outbursts, we need to respond in helpful ways. This is a theme you hear me talk a lot about because our responses can make all the difference in the world.



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