Reviewed by Melinda (Santa) Gladden, LCSW
Many people living with a mental health condition such as obsessive-compulsive disorder experience more than one mental health condition. Research indicates that it is common for people with OCD to have co or co-occurring mental health conditions. Some commonly seen comorbid or co-occurring conditions seen in those with an obsessive-compulsive disorder or OCD include but are not limited to depressive disorders, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, and disorders that are related to OCD, such as body dysmorphic disorder or BDD. Major depressive disorder or MDD, alongside anxiety disorders such as generalized anxiety disorder, is a common comorbidity seen in those living with OCD. So, how do you find help for OCD and depression?
There are a number of different depressive disorders. These disorders include major depressive disorder or MDD, persistent depressive disorder or PDD, and other types of depression, such as premenstrual dysphoric disorder or PMDD. Symptoms of depression may include but are not limited to:
- Feelings of a low or depressed mood
- A loss of interest in activities one would typically enjoy
- Trouble concentrating or focusing
- Changes in appetite
- Sleeping too much or too little (hypersomnia or insomnia)
- Social isolation or withdrawal from others
- Fatigue or tiredness
- Feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness, or disproportionate guilt
- Excessive crying
- Emotional numbness
Each type of depression will come with a specific set of diagnostic criteria and symptoms. If you notice signs or symptoms of depression in yourself, it is essential to reach out to a medical or mental health professional. Depression is hard to live with, but it is a highly treatable condition, and you do not need to go through it alone.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder or OCD is a mental health condition characterized by obsessions and compulsions.
Obsessions in OCD refer to fixations that a person has that impact their life significantly. Many people with OCD experience intrusive thoughts or mental images related to their obsessions. Obsessions can range from contamination or fear of contamination to preventing harm to ensuring that objects are in order. It all depends on the person. There are a number of subtypes of OCD that explain the different obsessions that are commonly seen in those with obsessive-compulsive disorder, including harm OCD, relationship OCD, religious OCD, contamination OCD, purely obsessive OCD, symmetry OCD, and more.
Compulsions in OCD refer to repetitive behaviors or rituals that a person with obsessive-compulsive disorder uses to calm their fear, anxiety, or stress related to their obsessions and/or intrusive thoughts. These compulsions are something that a person with OCD feels driven to do; it feels like the only way to manage these distressing, painful, and interfering thoughts and obsessions. OCD is not a choice, and people do not engage in compulsions on purpose. In a person with purely obsessive OCD, compulsions will be invisible, and they will perform in their head through the form of thoughts. This may look like counting repetitively in one's head or repeating phrases repetitively in one's head.
For more information on the different types of OCD, check out our blog or click here.
Help For Depression
One of the most common ways to get help for depression is to see a counselor or therapist for talk therapy. Cognitive-behavioral therapy or CBT is one of the most popular therapies used for depression and many other mental health conditions or concerns. It is a well-researched, effective, and non-invasive form of therapy. Interpersonal therapy is another form of therapy that may be used for depressive disorders. For all information and advice regarding specific treatments and therapies, make sure to talk to a medical or mental health professional. If you are looking for treatment for depression and are not sure where to turn, there are a number of routes you can take. Here are some options for finding a counselor or therapist:
- Ask your doctor for a referral
- Contact your insurance company or visit their website to see what they cover
- Use an online mental health provider directory
If you are struggling to find a provider near you, you can use the provider search tool located in the upper right-hand corner of the Mind Diagnostics website. To use the tool, simply input your zip code and click the magnifying glass or hit "enter" on your keyboard. You may also consider an online therapy website like Better Help if you are interested in remote counseling or therapy sessions. Note that both group therapy and individual therapy may be helpful for those living with depression. You can attend group therapy and individual therapy together if you choose. Some people also decide to see a psychiatrist in addition to going to therapy. If you are living with depression or OCD, you may also find peer support beneficial.
Peer Support for OCD and Depression
Since so many people with the obsessive-compulsive disorder also experience one or more additional mental health conditions, it is not unlikely that you will meet one or more people in a support group setting or through an online forum who also live with both OCD and another disorder, such as depression. Here are some peer support options for OCD and depressive disorders:
Depressed Anonymous or Obsessive Compulsive Anonymous
You have likely heard of Alcoholics Anonymous or AA meetings. Programs like Alcoholics Anonymous are known for their 12-step model. A group called depressed anonymous for people living with depression, and there is a group called obsessive-compulsive anonymous for those living with OCD.
You can access the obsessive-compulsive anonymous website here: https://obsessivecompulsiveanonymous.org.
You can access the depressed anonymous website here: https://depressedanon.com.
Both obsessive compulsive anonymous and depressed anonymous consider themselves fellowships, and you will likely be able to find any specific details or answers to questions you might have about these fellowships on their website.
12 step programs are not the only form of support you can find for her mental health conditions or concerns. There are many different support groups out there. To find a support group near you, you can search for "OCD support groups near me" or "depression support groups near me," depending on what you are looking for, using your search engine of choice.
Alternatively, here are two support group finders that you can use:
The International OCD Foundation Resource Finder
The International OCD Foundation or IOCDF is a well-known organization that was created by people with OCD. The organization has been running since 1986, and they have helped people living with OCD and loved ones of those with OCD in many ways over the years. If you are looking for an OCD support group in your area, you can use a search group finder such as the one on the International OCD Foundation website, located here: https://iocdf.org/ocd-finding-help/find-help/.
The ADAAs Support Group Listings
The ADAA or Anxiety and Depression Association of America is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping those with mental health conditions. There is a support group finder on their website, which you can access here: https://adaa.org/supportgroups.
You can also ask a specialist, such as a counselor or a therapist specializing in working with OCD, for recommendations of support groups in your area.
There are a large number of mental health forums online. If you are searching for depression forums or OCD forums, here are some options.
Here are some that you can access for depression:
The Beyond Blue Forum
Beyondblue.org is an Australian website that is an excellent resource for people living with mental health conditions or hoping to learn about mental health conditions like depression and anxiety. Find it here: https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/online-forums/depression.
Mentalhealthforum.net Depression Forum
Mentalhealthform.net has an excellent variety of forums for different mental health conditions and concerns, including depression. Find the depression forum here: https://www.mentalhealthforum.net/forum/forums/depression-forum.366/.
Psychforums.com Depression Forum
Psychforums.com has a number of mental health forums, including one for depression, seasonal depression, and more. Find the clinical depression forum here: https://www.psychforums.com/depression/.
Here are some forums that you can access for obsessive-compulsive disorder:
My OCD Community
This forum is for those with obsessive-compulsive disorder and loved ones of those with obsessive-compulsive disorder. It was launched in 2018, and it is a partnership between health unlocked and the international OCD foundation or IOCDF. Find the My OCD Community forum here: https://healthunlocked.com/my-ocd.
Mentalhealthforum.net OCD Forum
Again, mentalhealthforum.net has an excellent variety of forums for different mental health conditions and concerns. Find the OCD forum here: https://www.mentalhealthforum.net/forum/forums/obsessive-compulsive-disorder-ocd-forum.46/.
Psychforums.com OCD Forum
Just as psychforums.com has a forum for depression, it also has one for OCD. Again, the number of forums on this website is vast, and there is a forum for people living with a great variety of concerns. Find the OCD forum here: https://www.psychforums.com/obsessive-compulsive/.
Take the Mind Diagnostics OCD Test
Are you wondering if you might have obsessive-compulsive disorder? If so, consider taking the Mind Diagnostics obsessive-compulsive disorder test. The Mind Diagnostics obsessive-compulsive disorder test is not a replacement for an evaluation or diagnosis from a medical or mental health professional, but taking the test can give your insight into your symptoms. It might just be the first step to getting the help that you need. Although OCD can affect people of all ages, the Mind Diagnostics obsessive-compulsive disorder test is for those aged 18 and above. The Mind Diagnostics OCD test is fast, free, and confidential. Your results will be sent to you via email directly after taking the test and type in your email address. You can also find a free depression test and tests for various other mental health concerns by visiting our home page. Whether you are struggling with OCD, depression, or both, remember that you are not alone and that things can and do get better.
To take the Mind Diagnostics OCD test, click the following link or copy and paste it into your browser: https://www.mind-diagnostics.org/ocd-test.