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What is the Connection Between OCD and Depression?

Article Details
  • Written By: Troy Holmes
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 16 November 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is a behavioral anxiety issue that causes an individual to subconsciously worry about seemingly superficial things in his life. This causes him to constantly repeat and monitor processes each day. Some compulsive behaviors include washing hands, checking locked doors, or validating completed work. The symptoms of OCD and depression are extremely similar. Both disorders cause an individual to feel anxious, guilty, and have low self-esteem.

Doctors often prescribe the same type of medicine for both OCD and depression. This medicine helps stabilize the chemicals dopamine and serotonin within the brain. Many anti-depressant drugs block dopamine uptake levels in the brain, which reduces the highs and lows of an individual’s thinking pattern.

There are typically three general types of OCD sufferers. These are washers, organizers, and worriers. The washer is concerned with infections, while the organizer is concerned with neatness. The worrier is either concerned with what people think or what they have forgotten to do. Each type has the same basic compulsive behavior pattern. Both OCD and depression are linked to an imbalance of chemicals within the brain.

An individual who suffers for OCD tends to become extremely anxious when he cannot perform his ritual or routine. Failure to follow the daily plan results in stress and severe depression because he worries that the missed opportunity may impact his life. OCD and depression can be treated with therapy and medicine.

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OCD is tightly linked to fear of consequences. The obsessive individual worries that a ritual is required or bad things will happen. Some people who have extreme cases worry that failure to follow a ritual may cause them to become deathly ill. These individuals require long-term medicines which reduce their feelings of anxiety and depression.

Behavior therapy is one of the best methods for treating OCD and depression. This type of therapy involves progressive anxiety stimuli, which causes a patient to become comfortable with breaking his patterns. This comfort starts with teaching the patient how to manage stress. While the patient becomes more anxious he is instructed to use his relaxation techniques to manage the fear.

Studies have shown that both medicine and therapy are a good option for reducing the effects of OCD and depression. These approaches alter the brain patterns into a normal range. Most doctors will recommend a combination of medicine with therapeutic activities. If successful, the patient may be forced to continue daily medication for an extended period of time.

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