18 doctors weighed in:
How can I defferintiate between OCD thoughts and negative thoughts?
18 doctors weighed in

5 doctors agree
In brief: O won't stop
Obsessive thoughts need not be negative, though their persistence is uncomfortable.
For example, a common obsession is counting. Once begun, one "must" count to 20, say. Obsessive thoughts that are negative -- imagining doing something dire -- generally channel other anxieties, and actually alleviate them somewhat, and only briefly. Their "attraction" is the thought, "what if i act"?

In brief: O won't stop
Obsessive thoughts need not be negative, though their persistence is uncomfortable.
For example, a common obsession is counting. Once begun, one "must" count to 20, say. Obsessive thoughts that are negative -- imagining doing something dire -- generally channel other anxieties, and actually alleviate them somewhat, and only briefly. Their "attraction" is the thought, "what if i act"?
Dr. Jeffrey Satinover
Dr. Jeffrey Satinover
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Justin Fuehrer
Emergency Medicine
5 doctors agree
In brief: OCD requires action
Generally, OCD requires some type of action in order to alleviate the bad thought.
Whether this is rechecking to make sure the oven is off multiple times or washing hands multiple times even when already clean, it does not matter the specific action so long as it is done to alleviate the thought process.

In brief: OCD requires action
Generally, OCD requires some type of action in order to alleviate the bad thought.
Whether this is rechecking to make sure the oven is off multiple times or washing hands multiple times even when already clean, it does not matter the specific action so long as it is done to alleviate the thought process.
Justin Fuehrer
Justin Fuehrer
Answer assisted by Justin Fuehrer, Medical Student
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Dr. Douglas Bey
Psychiatry
3 doctors agree
In brief: Interesting question
Obsessive thoughts r irrational & can b negative.
Negative rumination that goes with depression can be irrational--do you have symptoms of clinical depression along with the thoughts? Do you have compulsive behaviors? These other symptoms may help u make the distinction.

In brief: Interesting question
Obsessive thoughts r irrational & can b negative.
Negative rumination that goes with depression can be irrational--do you have symptoms of clinical depression along with the thoughts? Do you have compulsive behaviors? These other symptoms may help u make the distinction.
Dr. Douglas Bey
Dr. Douglas Bey
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1 comment
Dr. Douglas Bey
Usually intrusive thoughts r the most upsetting ie mothers may think harm their babies --Poe called it the imp of perverse like the urge to jump up & yell in churchchurch
Dr. Timothy Re
Clinical Psychology
2 doctors agree
In brief: Intrusive and anxiet
Negative thoughts are a broader category of thinking that leads to personality and many other difficulties.
Ocd thoughts almost always cause anxiety and are more unwanted and intrusive. They tend to be associated with vulnerabilities we have.

In brief: Intrusive and anxiet
Negative thoughts are a broader category of thinking that leads to personality and many other difficulties.
Ocd thoughts almost always cause anxiety and are more unwanted and intrusive. They tend to be associated with vulnerabilities we have.
Dr. Timothy Re
Dr. Timothy Re
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Dr. Max Haque
Psychiatry
2 doctors agree
In brief: Different causes
Ocd or obsessive compulsive thoughts are those that cause severe anxiety unless you carry out the act__for example, repeatedly checking to see if your door is locked, washing your hands over and over to get rid of germs, etc.
Negative thoughts are self-destructive in nature that can result in severe guilty, hopeless, helpless or useless feelings, and finally even suicidal thoughts.

In brief: Different causes
Ocd or obsessive compulsive thoughts are those that cause severe anxiety unless you carry out the act__for example, repeatedly checking to see if your door is locked, washing your hands over and over to get rid of germs, etc.
Negative thoughts are self-destructive in nature that can result in severe guilty, hopeless, helpless or useless feelings, and finally even suicidal thoughts.
Dr. Max Haque
Dr. Max Haque
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Dr. Susan Uhrich
Psychiatry
2 doctors agree
In brief: Tough one
In general, OCD thoughts are negative thoughts, but not all negative thoughts are OCD thoughts.
We all have the occasional negative thought, but a constant barrage of them is not good, OCD or not.

In brief: Tough one
In general, OCD thoughts are negative thoughts, but not all negative thoughts are OCD thoughts.
We all have the occasional negative thought, but a constant barrage of them is not good, OCD or not.
Dr. Susan Uhrich
Dr. Susan Uhrich
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David Miller
Family Medicine
1 doctor agrees
In brief: Compulsion
The hallmark of obsessive-compulsive disorder is compulsive actions brought on by obsessive thoughts.
It is worrisome thoughts of infections or irons burning down the house or car lights running down the battery that cause compulsive actions. This is very different from simple negative thoughts.

In brief: Compulsion
The hallmark of obsessive-compulsive disorder is compulsive actions brought on by obsessive thoughts.
It is worrisome thoughts of infections or irons burning down the house or car lights running down the battery that cause compulsive actions. This is very different from simple negative thoughts.
David Miller
David Miller
Answer assisted by David Miller, Medical Student
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