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  • Himani Choudhary

OCD and Depression, two peas in a pod!

Updated: Jan 30, 2021

Mental illnesses are extremely difficult to go through because of the emotional and physical distress they put a person through. This is worse for people who have 2 or 3 illnesses at the same time. This is a common occurrence amongst people suffering from OCD. OCD is a kind of anxiety disorder characterized by intrusive thoughts and follow-up actions. There are various traits and behaviours that are inherent in a person who suffers from OCD. One such prominent trait is social exclusion. An obsessive behaviour makes it extremely hard to socialise and maintain relationships. This often leads to depression. The patterns created by the behaviour induced by the OCD leads to a cycle that blocks out society in such a way that these people become very prone to depression. It was found in a study that 80% of all patients suffering from OCD also suffer from depression. This depression could have developed as a response to the symptoms of OCD. But there are some plausible neurological explanations to this phenomenon. Both OCD and depression are caused due to a chemical imbalance caused by the low production of the chemical serotonin in the brain. This chemical is a neurotransmitter that acts like a messenger and basically helps relay the signals through the nervous system. Hence, the general low level of serotonin can trigger both the illnesses or make an OCD patient more prone to depression. The problem the comorbidity i.e the simultaneous existence of these two illnesses poses is not restricted to the amount of emotional and physical distress the person has to suffer but causes major hindrance to their treatment. Most patients suffering from OCD and depression have to work on their depression before they can go through with their treatment for OCD. The lack of motivation and sense of doom and disaster surrounding every problem in depressed patients makes it harder for them to work on their OCD and pursue their therapy. Patients suffering from Major depression disorder need special attention and treatment to treat their depression before they can start treatments like exposure therapy for treating OCD. It is extremely difficult to go through with this journey of treating yourself and can be tiring. It is important to realise that the journey, with proper care and support, will end in happiness. Therapy and treatment is a series of trials and errors which is tiresome but can be fruitful. It is important to realise that if you are a person going through a hard time, you can get better.

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