OCD
Beat Depression For Symptom Control

Having ocd can be depressing, which makes your symptoms worse. One kind of treatment can soften beliefs feeding anxiety. And, motivate you to dare the obsessions ruining your life.

Note...

Since this page was first published, obsessive compulsive disorder is no longer classified an anxiety disorder. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual - DSM - of mental disorders, version 5, now dedicates a separate chapter to this condition.

However, it still points out what can help keep your symptoms under control.

Need for certainty

Thoughts get in the way. Repeat themselves. Shock. Make no sense and are inescapable.
 
What does the pattern breed?
 
A need for certainty. To hit back at the doubt and fear from interfering thoughts. So, you decide to them drive out. By creating your very own belief system to handle ocd. Hard, negative core beliefs wreak havoc in social anxiety disorder, too.

For example, the need to have...

OCD and Depression - 8 thoughts that cause trouble
  • Have pure thoughts.
  • Have pure feelings.
  • Be sure of what you think.

At the core, this can show...

  • Perfectionism.
  • Low self-esteem.
  • Guilt.

…the very ingredients depression thrives on.

Feeling depressed

Depression and obsessive compulsive disorder share characteristics of...

  • Worry.
  • Mistrust.
  • Isolation.
  • Anxiety sensitivity. 

The tendency is to hook on the obsessions. Demands are unreasonable. They don't go away and are impossible to pull off. Figuring out their 'real' meaning can eat up your time. And, deeply affect how you feel.

Dreams of living a life you're happy with, get lost. Self-worth plummets. Do you, as in agoraphobia, have a safe zone?

But,...

  • Expect to fail.
  • Can't handle failure.
  • You're convinced a task can't be done with, even an easy one.
  • Dependence on others means you think you're incompetent.

Getting depression help doesn't matter? 6 reasons may make you think twice about holding off. And, the effect this can have on your anxiety.

Treating depression when you have ocd

As despair creeps in, the urge is to stop dealing with your obsessive compulsive disorder. No wonder! Lack of motivation is typically found in clinical depression. The interest has to be there to want to get better.

Interpersonal therapy or psychodynamic therapy can revive your motivation. A specific combination of drugs can also relieve symptoms of depression. And, keep obsessions under control.

Another problem related to depression is an imbalance of the neurotransmitter serotonin. It tends to be on the low side. You can give it a boost by...

  • Striving to get enough rest.
  • Grab 10-15 minute doses of sunshine.
  • Eat foods such as bananas, nuts, and beans, to encourage production.
  • Take B-complex vitamins.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Blended CBT can focus on your depression. Thinking patterns are emphasized. Ocd symptoms are targeted later. 

You learn to...

  • Draw out what you believe is true.
  • Notice what keeps them alive.
  • Make sense of them. 

Negative thinking is questioned. Reshaped. And, handled. This can relieve your anxiety.

It can improve how you feel. You'll have more energy to spare. And, challenge your obsessions. With more confidence to solve problems, life finally gets organized to your liking.

The National Association of Cognitive Behavioral Therapists has a 10-point summary of what cognitive behavioral therapy is about. Check it out.

You'll have an idea of how patterns can change for the better. #5 and # 8 are particularly encouraging. You're not alone fighting the battle. Discover you have your own tools to control symptoms. And, are shown how to use them.

Medication

Obsessive compulsive disorder's neurological quirks call for a delicate balancing act.

How you feel about taking medication is at one end. The other is how you handle them. This has an influence of what the doctor offers as treatment.

Suspicious, with a need to control everything, is a problem. Disappointed with so-so results can lead to treatment resistance. Believing pills magically cure symptoms also has to be addressed. But, you can still feel good for keeps taking ocd medication.

You'll find it easier to go along with treatment if the doctor...

  • Lets you know, right from the get-go, what to expect with side effects. 
  • Responds quickly to your uneasiness about drugs you're not willing to put up with.
  • Schedules follow-up soon after starting, changing or adjusting medication.

Rituals with numbers, colors, time schedules, or names, are important for your physician to know about. Drugs that don't fall into categories triggering obsessions can be prescribed.

Medications, used to increase serotonin levels, reduce symptoms and depression. SSRI's, usually, are first introduced to relieve symptoms. For example, Paxil is known to be effective.

Keep in mind, there are worries about taking Paxil during pregnancy. 

Here's the deal,...

Combining SSRI's and CBT has more of an upside than downside...

  • SSRI's may not be not as effective if compulsions and avoidance behaviors are drastic. CBT addresses this.
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy – CBT - may not work as well with severe worrying, anxiety and depressed mood. Medication can reduce the symptoms.

Something to think about...

Even though SSRI's have milder side effects, a tricyclic antidepressant, clomipramine – Anafranil, has been shown to be more effective in reducing ocd symptoms. Plus, it's antihistamine properties may play a role at keeping depression away.

Untreated, ocd mixed with depression, is very hard to control. Antidepressants aren't a guarantee mood will improve even if obsessions and compulsions are reduced.  But, results may be good enough to revive motivation so you can handle them.



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