What Is the Connection Between Depression and OCD?

What Is the Connection Between Depression and OCD?

What Is the Connection Between Depression and OCD?_ ichhori.com

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and depression have a deep and complicated relationship.


Understanding why these two conditions frequently co-occur — and, perhaps more importantly, how to approach treatment when you have both — may aid in the development of better mental and physical health. Here are some helpful titbits.


1. How OCD and depression are related?

OCD and depression are frequently co-occurring disorders. According to the International OCD Foundation, between 25 and 50 percent of people with OCD will also suffer from depression. Most people experience OCD symptoms first, but a small percentage of people experience both conditions at the same time. It's unusual for depression symptoms to come before OCD.


As a result, researchers Trusted Source frequently state that depression is a component of OCD, but OCD is not always a component of depression.


2. Can depression cause OCD?

Although it is unclear what causes OCD, there is no evidence that depression causes it. OCD can be caused by the following factors, according to the National Institute of Mental Health Trusted Source:

• genetics
• differences in the frontal cortex and subcortical regions of the brain
• childhood trauma
• streptococcal infection


3. Can OCD cause depression?

The quick answer is yes. Because depression frequently follows the onset of OCD symptoms, researchers believe that the difficulties of living with OCD can lead to depression symptoms.


Depression can develop as a result of:

• the nature of your compulsive thoughts
• difficulties caused by compulsive actions
• the problems OCD causes in your life and relationships


4. Obsessions and depression

OCD causes unwanted, repetitive, and upsetting thoughts. For many people, the nature of their thoughts is enough to cause shock, fear, and, eventually, depression. Here's an illustration of how that progression might work.


Unwanted thoughts of harming the baby may occur to a new parent. Approximately half of all parents (fathers and mothers) have intrusive thoughts similar to these.


Even if the baby is never in actual danger, the thoughts can be frightening and humiliating. A parent who is unaware of how common these thoughts are may believe that something is wrong with them.


These and other intrusive thoughts are caused by OCD. Although not all intrusive thoughts contain violent imagery, the majority are disturbing or unsettling.


However, intrusive thoughts do not always indicate an increased risk of harm. However, if the thoughts are accompanied by anxiety, depression, or OCD, the risk may be increased.


Distressing thoughts can also lead to depression over time because a person experiencing intrusive thoughts may feel out of control of their mind, which can be quite depressing and debilitating.


Ruminating — thinking the same troubling, depressing, or negative thoughts over and over — has also been linked to depression and OCD, according to 2018Trusted Source research.


Researchers asked people with OCD and depression questions in a 2017 study Trusted Source to determine whether they were prone to anxious or depressing thoughts. Researchers discovered that people with these two disorders frequently have anxious and depressing thoughts.


In a previous study Trusted Source, researchers discovered that people with OCD had fewer depression symptoms when they displayed three common patterns:

• thought their actions could change an outcome
• thought themselves capable of taking those actions
• thought they had control in a given situation, so they could take the necessary action


5. Compulsions and depression

People with OCD usually perform specific actions in response to intrusive thoughts in the mistaken belief that their actions will either make the thoughts go away or prevent something bad from happening.


These compulsive behaviours must be executed flawlessly every time — a difficult standard to meet.


According to researchers Trusted Source, this type of relentless perfectionism, which is a hallmark of OCD, is also a key factor in depression.


6. Functioning and depression

OCD and depression can have a negative impact on your ability to function normally. Obsessions have an impact on your mental state. Compulsions can disrupt your schedule.


When your relationships, social life, therapy, and job or school performance suffer, you may begin to exhibit symptoms of depression. According to researchersTrustedSource, the more severe your obsessions and compulsions are, the more they interfere with your daily functioning and worsen your depression symptoms.


7. What about anxiety?

Anxiety is a significant component of OCD. People with OCD may experience anxiety for a variety of reasons, including:


• distressed by the content of the thoughts that intrude on them 
• anxious to prevent the thoughts from occurring again 
• anxious until they perform a compulsive behaviour 
• anxious about whether they've performed the behaviour correctly 
• anxious about what other people think of them 
• anxious about how other people treat them because of their condition
• anxious about other practical and emotional effects of OCD on their lives


Anxiety is also common in people who suffer from depression. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 60 percent of people who have anxiety also have depression, and vice versa.


8. How are OCD and depression similar?

Many symptoms of these two disorders overlap.

Trusted Sources, such as:


• They can have an impact on your mood, relationships, and ability to function normally.
• Both are associated with negative self-perceptions.
• They can result in thought patterns that exacerbate symptoms.
• Both can usually be improved with a combination of psychotherapy and medication, particularly selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).


9. How are OCD and depression different?

Although OCD and depression have many symptoms in common, there are some important distinctions.


• OCD makes you feel compelled to repeat certain behaviours in order to reduce anxiety, whereas depression does not usually involve repeating compulsive behaviours like turning off and on light switches – though it is important to note that depression can be associated with compulsive use of alcohol, drugs, and sex.


• Tic disorders can be caused by OCD  to develop, but there is no evidence that tic disorders are caused by depression.
• The "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5)" classifies depression as a mood disorder. OCD was previously classified as an anxiety disorder in older versions of the DSM. OCD has been separated from anxiety and mood disorders in the DSM-5.


10. What you can do if you have OCD and depression?

Psychotherapy, medication, or both can be used to treat OCD and depression. In addition to these tried-and-true treatments, you can reduce your symptoms with other therapies such as mindfulness, yoga, and moderate physical activity.


Focus first on your OCD symptoms

Studies suggest that, it may be better for most people to focus on treating OCD symptoms first because reducing OCD symptoms often improves depression – but not the other way around. Treatment for depression does not always alleviate OCD symptoms.


Consider therapy

Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) , which aims to identify and reshape unhealthy thinking patterns, has been especially beneficial to people suffering from OCD and depression.


Once you've begun to see improvement in your OCD symptoms, it's critical to target ruminations as part of your therapy because reducing these entrenched thought patterns can help with depression.


Connect when you feel like isolating

Take heart if you are a family member or friend of someone who suffers from OCD. Though you may feel helpless in the face of someone you care about's symptoms, there is something powerful you can do. Make an appearance. Show your affection. Strong human connections protect against depression, which can creep in when dealing with OCD.


Work toward more movement in your life

Finding the energy to exercise when you're depressed can feel impossible at times. Take a few baby steps in the right direction. Many studies have confirmed that physical activity, when combined with therapy, can reduce OCD and depression symptoms.


11. What’s the outlook for people with OCD and depression?

Though OCD and depression cannot be "cured," many people who suffer from these symptoms respond well to treatment. According to studies Trusted Source, approximately half of people with OCD (especially those with less severe symptoms) experience symptom remission over time. It's worth noting that when OCD symptoms improved, depression symptoms improved as well.


Researchers tracked OCD symptoms in a 2013 study Trusted Source involving 591 participants for 30 years and discovered that roughly 60% of those with OCD went into remission. Some of those in remission had received no treatment at all.


Several factors, in general, contribute to better outcomes for people with OCD:

• early onset (symptoms that start in early or middle childhood)
• early diagnosis
• intensive intervention with CBT and SSRIs
• less severe symptoms
• family support


Having depression and OCD at the same time can result in less than ideal outcomes. This could be because depression makes it difficult to stick to treatment plans.


Conventional treatments will not be effective for some people who have been diagnosed with these two disorders. Some newer treatments, particularly brain stimulation techniques Trusted Source, may be beneficial in these cases, but more research is needed.


12. The takeaway

Depression and OCD frequently coexist. Most of the time, OCD comes first, followed by depression, implying that living with OCD causes depression.


Despite the fact that these two mental health conditions can be chronic, they are both treatable. Medication and psychotherapy, for example, can make a significant difference in the severity of OCD and depression symptoms.


If you have both OCD and depression, you will probably fare better if you treat the OCD symptoms first. When those symptoms are better managed, you may notice that your depression improves as well.


When OCD and depression coexist, it's a lot to deal with. Though you may feel isolated as a result of these conditions, you are not alone in dealing with them. With treatment and support, your symptoms, daily functioning, and quality of life can all improve.

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