Can OCD Cause Anger Attacks? Know The Triggers & Ways To Treat Them!

OCD Anger Attacks

Have you ever felt really angry and not sure why? If you have OCD, this might be happening more than you think. OCD isn’t just about having unwanted thoughts or feeling like you have to do certain things over and over. It can also make you feel really frustrated and angry. Surprisingly, half of the people with OCD go through these anger attacks.

In our blog, we’ll look at why OCD might be making you feel angry and how can you deal with it or manage it. It’s important to understand this part of OCD, so you can handle these tough feelings better. Let’s start exploring and find some ways to feel calmer and more in control.

Understanding the Link Between OCD and Anger Attacks

Understanding the Link Between OCD and Anger AttacksOCD, or Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, is more than just having unwanted thoughts or doing the same things over and over. It can also cause strong feelings like frustration and anger. But why does this happen?

Imagine your mind is always busy with thoughts that you don’t want, but they keep coming back. These are called obsessions. Then, you feel like you must do certain things (compulsions) to get rid of these thoughts or stop something bad from happening. This cycle can be really stressful and upsetting.

For example,

  • If you have OCD, you might be really worried about germs. So, you wash your hands a lot.
  • But what if you can’t wash your hands right away or as often as you feel you need to?
  • This can make you feel very anxious and frustrated. Over time, these feelings can build up and turn into anger.

Sometimes, the anger comes out because of the stress of dealing with these thoughts and behaviors all the time. It can be exhausting and overwhelming, and anger might be the way your body and mind react to this constant pressure.

What Triggers OCD Anger Attacks?

What Triggers OCD Anger Attacks

When you have OCD, certain things can trigger your obsessions and compulsions, and these same things might also be what set off your anger. It’s like having a button that, when pressed, makes you feel really upset and angry. Understanding what these triggers are can be a big help in managing your anger.

Some common triggers include:

  • Disruption of Routines: If you have a set way of doing things and something or someone disrupts it, this can be a big trigger. It’s like someone throwing a wrench in a well-oiled machine.
  • Feeling Out of Control: When things don’t go as planned or you can’t control a situation, it can make you feel helpless and frustrated, leading to anger.
  • Stressful Situations: Stress can make everything feel more intense, including your OCD symptoms, which can make you more likely to get angry.
  • Excessive Worries: Constantly worrying about things, big or small, can keep your mind in a state of high alert, making you more prone to anger.
  • Fatigue: Being really tired can make it harder to manage your OCD symptoms and your emotions, including anger.

Think about when you’ve felt really angry recently. What was happening around you? Were you dealing with one of these triggers? By knowing what sets off your OCD-related anger, you can start to find ways to deal with these situations differently and keep your anger in check.

Does OCD Cause Anger Outbursts?

Does OCD Cause Anger OutburstsYes, OCD can cause anger outbursts. During an OCD attack, a person may experience intense feelings of fear, anxiety, and frustration. Such conditions lead to angry outbursts or aggressive behavior. They may also feel angry when confronted with their compulsions or rituals. They know that in order to keep the anxiety at bay, they must perform these behaviors.

People with OCD need to be aware of their triggers. They also need to learn how to manage their emotions in order to prevent such episodes from occurring.

How Anger Attacks Looks Like For Someone With OCD

When someone with OCD experiences an anger attack, it can look different from person to person. But generally, these episodes are intense and can be quite overwhelming, not just for the person experiencing them but also for those around them. Understanding what these episodes look like can help in managing them better.

During an anger attack, a person with OCD may:

How Anger Attacks Looks Like For Someone With OCD

  • Raise their voice unexpectedly, sometimes in response to a minor irritation or when feeling overwhelmed by their obsessive thoughts.
  • Use strong or offensive language, often out of frustration or as a way to express their internal turmoil, can be a common occurrence.
  • In the heat of the moment, they might say things they don’t really mean, directed either at themselves or others.
  • Physical expressions of anger, like throwing objects, can happen, especially when the person feels a loss of control over their obsessive thoughts or compulsive behaviors.
  • In some cases, the intense emotions can lead to self-harming behaviors as a misplaced way of coping with overwhelming feelings.
  • While less common, there can be instances where the person might physically lash out at others during an extreme episode.

It’s important to remember that these behaviors are symptoms of the underlying stress and anxiety caused by OCD. They are not reflective of the person’s true character or intentions. Recognizing these signs can be the first step in seeking appropriate help and support.

Coping Strategies for Managing OCD and Anger

Dealing with anger that’s connected to OCD can be tough, but there are practical strategies you can use to manage it. These techniques can help you calm down during moments of high stress and reduce the chances of anger attacks. Here are some effective methods:

Practice Relaxation Techniques

Coping Strategies for Managing OCD and Anger

Techniques like

  • deep breathing,
  • progressive muscle relaxation, or
  • guided imagery can help calm your mind and body.

When you feel anger building up, take a moment to breathe deeply and slowly, focusing on the sensation of air moving in and out of your lungs.

Mindfulness Practices

Mindfulness involves staying present and fully engaging with the moment without judgment.

Practices like:

  • mindful walking,
  • eating,
  • simple meditation can help you stay grounded and reduce the intensity of anger.

Cognitive-Behavioral Strategies

These involve recognizing and changing thought patterns that trigger anger. For example, if you tend to have negative, catastrophic thoughts, learning to challenge and replace them with more realistic ones can be helpful.

Identify Early Warning Signs

Being aware of the early signs of anger can give you a chance to intervene before it escalates. This could be a physical sign (like clenching your fists) or an emotional one (like feeling irritable).

Time-Out Technique

When you feel your anger rising, give yourself a ‘time-out’. Step away from the situation if possible, and give yourself time to cool down and gather your thoughts.

Exercise Regularly

Physical activity can be a great way to release tension and reduce stress, which can help in managing anger. Activities like walking, jogging, or yoga can be particularly beneficial.

Seek Support

Talking to friends, family, or a support group about your feelings can provide relief and understanding. Sometimes, just knowing that others understand what you’re going through can be incredibly comforting.

Professional Help

Professional Help for Anger Attacks During OCDSeeking professional help is often a vital step in effectively managing both OCD and related anger issues. Therapy is one of the most common and effective forms of treatment for these disorders, as it addresses not just the symptoms but the underlying causes.

  • CBT is particularly beneficial for those with OCD. The therapy focuses on identifying negative thought patterns and replacing them with more constructive ones, thereby influencing how you react to OCD triggers.
  • Another powerful approach is ERP therapy, which is specifically tailored for OCD treatment. The aim is to help you learn to respond with less fear, anxiety, and anger. By confronting the triggers directly, you can gain more control over your reactions and reduce the intensity of anger outbursts.

Remember, managing anger is a skill that takes time to develop. Be patient with yourself as you learn and practice these new strategies. In this part of the blog, we’ll dive deeper into each of these techniques, giving you tools to handle moments of heightened stress and reduce the frequency and intensity of anger attacks related to OCD.


OCD and its associated anger attacks can be difficult to manage without professional help. If you or someone you know is experiencing these symptoms, it is important to seek help from a mental health professional. With the right treatment and support, it is possible to learn how to better manage these episodes and lead a more fulfilling life.

Take care, and don’t forget that you are not alone! OCD is a mental health disorder characterized by obsessions and compulsions. If you have any queries regarding OCD treatment, ERP therapy experienced therapists at OCDMantra can help: Book a trial OCD therapy session