Obsessive compulsive disorder (“OCD”) is characterized by excessive thoughts that cause compulsive behaviors while depression is a mental health disorder characterized by a loss of interest in daily activities and a constant depressed mood.Estimates from the International OCD Foundation show that roughly 25–50% of individuals with obsessive-compulsive disorder will also experience depression.
Most individuals usually experience symptoms of obsessive compulsive disorder first. However, the conditions can begin at the same time for a small number.
Can depression lead to OCD and vice versa?
Data from the National Institute of Mental Health shows that compulsive disorder can be caused by childhood trauma, genetics, streptococcal infection and differences in the subcortical and frontal cortex regions of the brain.Given that depression occurs after symptoms of OCD have developed, researchers believe that difficulties associated with living with compulsive disorder can cause symptoms of depression.
Depression can develop because of the challenges caused by an individual’s compulsive actions, the nature of their compulsive thoughts and the problems OCD cause in their relationships as well as their life.
What’s the link between depression and OCD?
OCD causes intrusive and unwanted thoughts that may be unsettling and/or disturbing. A 2018 study found that ruminating on negative thoughts repetitively is a primary contributor of both OCD and depression.
A separate 2017 study that asked individuals with depression and OCD to answer questions about whether they were prone to depressing or anxious thoughts found that individuals with both disorders experienced both depression and anxious thoughts. Another study also discovered that individuals with obsessive compulsive disorder experienced fewer symptoms of depression when they thought they had a particular situation in control, when they thought their actions could change the outcome of a situation or they thought that they were capable of taking those actions.
Researchers have also found that individuals with OCD usually try to perform certain actions perfectly, noting that this perfectionism is also a major factor in depression.
How are depression and OCD similar?
These disorders share various overlapping symptoms, which can include:
- Thinking patterns that worsen an individual’s symptoms.
- Negative beliefs about oneself.
- Negative impact on an individual’s ability to function as well as their relationships and mood.
These symptoms can be improved by a combination of medication and psychotherapy
If you have depression and OCD, don’t fret. The conditions are both treatable and can be managed with guidance from your primary health-care provider. Indulging in healthy doses of physical activity and yoga may help reduce your symptoms. However, dietary changes and physical activity aren’t a substitute for proper medical attention using platforms like RYAH MD availed by tech-savvy firms like RYAH Group Inc. (CSE: RYAH) where patients can easily interact with their doctors.
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