OCD and Depression
Understanding Depression in relation to OCD
Depression is commonly described as everything feeling ‘dark and gloomy,’ as well as descriptions of being unable to feel real feelings of happiness anymore. It can often display itself in several different ways, depending on individual experiences. Some may describe depression as a reaction to adverse life events, such as a relationship breakdown, failing an exam, or generally just feeling down in the dumps. Still, for someone genuinely experiencing the downs of depression, the effects can be much more intense and debilitating than this.
OCD and depression go hand in hand. After all, how can you not feel depressed when caught up in the OCD cycle that is intrusive thoughts, anxiety, and ritualistic behaviours. 75% of all people suffering from OCD are also in the grips of clinical depression. Arguably the most common co-morbid condition when talking about OCD, the symptoms of depression, when intertwined with OCD, can make the sufferer feel incredibly isolated and alone. The constant urge to perform obsessive compulsions can quickly lead to feeling out of control, despair, and helplessness.
Being wrapped up in OCD is nearly always exhausting, leaving the individual stressed, overly tired, and vulnerable to the symptoms of depression. Routines like going to bed but waking up just as tired, not being able to concentrate on one thing at a time, lack of energy, and everything feeling too difficult are some common effects of depression that run alongside obsessive- compulsive disorder. Everyone feels down from time to time, that’s normal. However, often a deep sense of emptiness, hopelessness, and being unable to enjoy things more regularly can all be signs of depression. The lows of depression can have significant impacts on our day to day lives, mainly affecting the quality of our day to day experiences. Suffering from depression can be a scary experience, with many doubting whether they will ever be able to feel those ‘highs’ that they once felt, before life with depression. Regardless of how long you have suffered, we promise you that there is hope. Often things like routine, structure, and the initiation of goals can be the first stepping stones to back to wellness.
Depressive Symptoms and Early Signs
Often understanding the development of depression, the symptoms, and the possible treatments can provide significant relief for someone that has been feeling depressed. It can feel overwhelming and extremely hopeless, but the experience of depression doesn’t have to be long-lasting or lifelong.
Regardless of people’s different experiences, the fact is that depression will not only diminish the quality of one’s life dramatically, but it can often affect a wide array of areas including one’s ability to eat, sleep, hold down a job, support healthy relationships and friendships, and experience ‘fun’ anymore. Often other factors that relate to depression are intense feelings of sadness, low self-esteem, worthlessness, self-doubt, worry, and helplessness. Often it can feel like our mind begins to work against us, and that negative voice in our head can get louder and louder.
Causes of depression
There is no one single cause of depression, but rather it is believed to be a combination of factors that lead to a person becoming depressed. Some possible factors include:
Hormonal changes and imbalances Genetic and Biological factors, environmental stressors, especially those that we are exposed to during childhood, lifestyle and life choices and other illnesses and disorders, such as experiencing symptoms such as GAD, OCD, or Social anxiety
How common is depression?
Depression is one of the most common conditions in the UK and across the globe. Presently, depression can affect up to one in five people at some point in their life. The World Health Organisation estimates that as of this year (2020), depression is likely to be now the most significant global health concern after chronic heart disease.
How can our program help?
Our treatment programs are very effective for the co- morbid experience of OCD and depression, especially when conducted in an intensive format. Many of our clients feel that they will have to recover from their OCD symptoms, in order to then deal with the depression at a later date. However, most clients notice that in dealing with many obsessive and compulsive symptoms, this leads to a very natural lifting of depression. After all, how can anyone have OCD and not feel depressed at times?
All of our programs include Psychoeducation, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), Compassion Focussed Therapy (CFT) and talking therapy, all of which together prove to be very effective for OCD and depression.
Regardless of the treatment option the individual may choose with us, we help all clients to disengage from overthinking and to not take every thought at face value. This component of the therapy seems to be one of the most important aspects when treating OCD and depression. The ability to accept all thoughts is vital to ongoing positive mental health. Our programs are also holistic, whereby we not only provide tools that can help you to overcome OCD but also to live a much more balanced and enjoyable life. While helping to change compulsive behaviours, we also look at the fundamental flaws in thinking that can lead to developing OCD and depression. We also cover nutrition, lifestyle, and stress management to provide all clients with a program that provides everything that is needed to manage and overcome OCD, as well as fight off depression.