Depression and Obsession (A Comprehensive Guide)

People with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) are at a larger risk of developing different forms of mental illness.

One of the most common disorders is major depressive disorder (MDD). Depression and Obsession are two very different disorders.

One is a mood disorder, while the other is an anxiety disorder. And yet, they do have a connection. Many people with an obsession also have depression.

When you have OCD your mind is full of nervous, horrible thoughts which might include thoughts related to different fields of life or even related to your appearance.

While you know they are irrational, they use you however making you feel awful and pitiful. Generally, this mental condition has much in common with depression.

Mostly they are comorbid conditions. In fact, a study suggests that as many as two-thirds of people living with OCD will experience a major depressive event sometime throughout the course of their sickness.

The reasons can be diverse, sorting from reactive anxiety to obsessive or compulsive behaviors to biochemical transformation in the brain that can change moods and actions.

In this article, we will discuss depression and obsession. 

Signs and Symptoms of Depression and Obsession:

There are not many overlays in the signs and symptoms of depression and obsession.

People with obsessions have disturbing thoughts, doubts, and anxieties. They feel obliged to do recurring, ritualized behaviors in order to deal with their anxiety.

Depression causes thoughts of hopelessness and despair.

People who undergo a lack of concentration in activities they once had.

Depression is about more than just feeling depressed.

To be diagnosed with depression, you have to experience a depressed mood and lose interest in things that used to be pleasurable to you for at least two weeks.

In addition, four of the following signs and symptoms should be present almost every day throughout the same two-week time period:

  • Eating too much or too little
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Mood either slowed down or evidently restless
  • Having low energy
  • Having feelings of unimportance or unsuitable responsibility
  • Complex thoughts or engaged
  • Having recurring thoughts of death or suicide

While both depression and obsession cause pessimistic thoughts that relate in compound ways, these thoughts are delicately different.

This is why when a patient seeks help from one, they might ironically hold the other thought process.

When you discover yourself taking on depressive feelings, you are entering into what psychologists call “rumination.”

Depression and obsession are both aggravated by an individual’s affinity to stay on negative information.

This makes it hard to reduce negative feelings, even when they are unrelated or when they appreciate that such feelings are either illogical or erroneous.

For these patients, trying to resist such thoughts doesn’t work.

As these types of thought patterns carry on to repeat them over time, patients develop increasingly recognizable and content with the thought process.

They will then establish selectively recovering and practicing negative events that bear their feelings of failure and desperation.

This type of “mental rehearsal” makes it easier and easier for the patient to slide into depression.

Obsession suffers from Depression:

Even though depression and obsession are different in a lot of ways, they have several things in common and might be sometimes supportive of one another.

Depression and obsession both negatively impact an individual’s personal and shared lives and might end up having a way greater effect on one’s relationships than intended.

Depression and Obsession are competent in distressing an individual’s ability to work, go to school, and take part in social gatherings.

Depression and Obsession many times co-occur, though it is generally a one-way relationship.

Around one-third of people with an obsession also have depression at several points.

Approximately two-thirds of people with OCD will comprise at least one episode of major depression in their lifetime.

On the other hand, people with depression are not essentially more expected to experience OCD.

Depression can be particularly serious in a person with OCD as it can influence their capacity to stay to the treatment of OCD symptoms.

Chemistry of Brain:

Some researchers think that depression and obsession might share a common genetic “diathesis.” 

This word means that the same genetic qualities might be risk factors for both. It’s likely that there are also biochemical factors involved in the relationship.

Both depression and obsession are linked with changes in how the brain makes and uses serotonin.

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter, which works as a chemical “mediator” for nerve cells.

An imbalance in serotonin is linked with changes in brain chemistry and behavior; related types of changes occur in both depression and obsession.

Distinguishing Between Depression and Obsession:

The differences here are fairly understated, particularly since they both are fixed in a person’s anxiety about power and hesitation.

Though there is diversity and it’s found in the equilibrium between indecision and defeat.

Through obsession, an individual still feels as though they can be in charge of and look up their situations.

As such, this can give a person with a momentary interruption from depression. While an individual does recognize that rumination won’t affect anything, they will keep on doing it while avoiding any other feelings.

This is considered useful in that it has the same qualities as problem-solving has. It is also a greeting interruption to depressive ideas and might infrequently lead to some growth.

Something related occurs when a person becomes besieged by their obsession in that depressive rumination replaces their anxiety and offers them some comfort.

Unluckily, when this happens the person is building up confirmation that their life is hopeless, and they should die.

This is what causes them to rationalize their retreating from their environment and becoming motionless: Since they consider the worst will happen, they don’t observe a motive to try to stop it.

Even with the interconnectedness that’s seen here, it’s still vital for a therapist to differentiate between depression and obsession when treating a client.

Obsession may also lead to Depression:

Research on depression and obsession shows that people with obsession are inclined to expand depression after the onset of their anxiety disorder and are more prone to it.

It’s less common for someone to have depression and then afterward develop obsession but it is more common to have depression after having an obsession.

This suggests that having an obsession is itself a risk factor for associated mental health disorders.

And this might very well be the case. The stress of living with obsession and the problems that people have as a consequence may be a depression trigger.

Double diagnosis, later on, is a strong possibility, particularly as most people with obsession have the disorder for a long time before they are properly diagnosed and might not even know that they are living with it.

A supplementary problem is that many people with obsession practice disgrace or prejudice due to their symptoms.

It seems likely that obsession victims particularly those with undiagnosed obsession might have sufficient stress to activate an episode of severe depression.

The relationship between depression and obsession disorder might become visible to be cause and effect, but this is not the case.

Having an obsession doesn’t cause depression. After all, around one-third of people with obsession won’t have an episode of major depression in their lives.

On the other hand, someone with an obsession is much more likely to expand depression than someone who doesn’t have an obsession.

As for the reason why this is the case, it’s likely to be a blend of factors. Firstly, having an obsession is stressful.

Living with that trauma every day might add to the increase of depression. Secondly, having obsession means that a person’s brain chemistry is excessive in a way that boosts depression risk.

This means that someone with obsession has a higher risk of depression for both psychological and biological reasons.

Why Is This Connection Important?

Understanding the connection between depression and OCD is important from a research standpoint.

For research purposes, learning more about what causes different kinds of mental health problems can provide important clues about prevention and treatment.

In the case of depression and obsession, this is significant, since the two disorders frequently occur together.

For people with obsession, it’s also significant to be conscious of the risk of depression.

This alertness can assist with getting mental health treatment if depression does become trouble.

Complications in Managing the Dual Diagnosis: 

Depression and Obsession require precise care and treatment delivered over the long term.

When both depression and obsession occur together, they require a professional trained in treating the dual diagnosis.

But this is really simply the tip of the problem.

By its very nature, depression tends to have an effect on a person’s ability to keep faithfulness to drug therapy, not only those related to obsession but any persistent medication that needs daily drug-taking.

Sometimes, thoughts of constant despair can lead people to ask “what’s the point?”

If this occurs, the person will typically be less concerned about taking their drugs, grooming, eating appropriately, or interacting with others.

This can be seriously problematic for undergoing obsession treatment.

As many psychotropic drugs need high points of observance to get the desired consequence, any gap in action can take back the gains an individual might have made.

To alleviate this apprehension, the counselor will often want to treat the depression first before addressing the obsession.

On the other hand, the use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), usually used to treat depression is also known to be helpful in managing many of the symptoms of obsession.

In the end, if you have been diagnosed with obsession and think you have depression; do not wait for the thoughts of misery to pass.

Have a word with your doctor or mental health counselor.

Treatment plans can be accustomed to gather your needs and avoid the deterioration of symptoms.

FAQs about depression and obsession

Is obsessive thinking a symptom of depression?

OCD usually doesn’t happen all at once. … It’s more likely if people in your family have OCD or another mental health disorder, such as depression or anxiety.

OCD symptoms include obsessions, compulsions, or both. An obsession is an uncontrollable thought or fear that causes stress

Can you have OCD without depression?

To put it simply, on the average, seriously depressed people with OCD do not do as well as non-depressed or less depressed OCD patients.

How do you let go of obsessive thoughts?

9 Ways to Let Go of Stuck Thoughts

– Don’t talk back. The first thing you want to do when you get an intrusive thought is to respond with logic. …

– Know it will pass. I can do anything for a minute. …

– Focus on now. …

– Tune into the senses. …

– Do something else. …

– Change your obsession. …

– Blame the chemistry. …

– Picture it.

– Admit powerlessness

What are OCD intrusive thoughts?

People with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder have intrusive thoughts (or images) that bother them.

These can be thoughts about making mistakes, harming someone, contamination, disease, religious preoccupation, fears of impulses or desires, or just about anything that you might consider dangerous, disgusting, or dirty.

References: “The Link between OCD and Major Depressive Disorder” “The Connection Between Depression And OCD” “The Connection Between OCD and Depression”