Anxiety disorders are the most common type of mental illness in America, as they affect more than 40 million adults in the U.S. each year, according to the Anxiety & Depression Association of America. The association also reports that 2.2 million adults in the U.S. have obsessive-compulsive disorder, or OCD.

While generalized anxiety disorder and OCD are two separate mental health issues, there's a significant amount of overlap in their symptoms.

Understanding anxiety and OCD

Everyone experiences anxiety or stress occasionally. However, for individuals with generalized anxiety disorder, these feelings are excessive and persistent, often getting in the way of daily activities and responsibilities. This anxiety can manifest in mental, emotional and physical distress. OCD, on the other hand, is defined by obsessions (unwanted thoughts, images or urges) and compulsions (the ritualistic behaviors that