OCD – Depression Explained

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OCD depression is depression that occurs with an OCD diagnosis.  The dual diagnosis complicates matters in terms of treatment.  The two do not necessarily respond to the same methods of treatment.  To understand their connection, you must first have a basic idea of what each entails independently.


OCD, or obsessive compulsive disorder, is marked by obsessions and compulsions.  Obsessions are repetitive thoughts that happen involuntarily.  Some typical examples are a fear of dirt, the need to have things in perfect order or perfect arrangements, and persistent doubts.  As a result you may avoid shaking hands for fear of being contaminated or repeatedly check to make sure doors have been locked.

Compulsions are actions that the individual feels driven to do.  They are meant to reduce the stress that is related to obsessions.  Typical examples involve cleaning, counting, checking, and other repetitive actions.  Symptoms may be severe enough that the individual does not have time for anything but these actions.


Depression is a condition marked by persistent feelings of sadness, worthlessness, hopelessness, and guilt.  It includes a loss of energy, changes in sleep patterns, and changes in appetite.

The individual loses interest in usual activities of living and may become irritable or even aggressive.  This can impact every area of a depressed person’s life.

Performance at work may decline (if the individual manages to go to work).  Relationships are harmed because of withdrawal from life in general as well as because of other symptoms.  Depression, too, can be a disabling condition that robs a person of a full life.

The Connection

Depression may result from OCD.  The biological indicators of the two conditions have some similarities.  Oddly enough, the depressed state can cause an improvement in OCD symptoms in some cases.

Their treatment methods are different.  Certain antidepressants that are proven to be effective in treating symptoms of depression have no effect on the symptoms of OCD.  This implies differing underlying causes.

Another difference is that another treatment for depression known as electroconvulsive therapy also has no effect on OCD symptoms.  If they were closely related then one would expect that a treatment that had proven effective in treating one condition would treat the other with similar efficacy.  This is not the case.

This form of depression is a complicated combination of conditions.  This confounding diagnosis can make treating the individual more difficult as a professional decides how to treat both conditions simultaneously.  Until a connection is found, this dual diagnosis must be treated very carefully.

Learn how I beat Depression

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