The two go hand in hand
Depression is one of the most common conditions in the UK. Presently, it is said that depression can affect up to one in five people at some point in their life. The World Health Organisation estimates that by the year 2020, depression will be the biggest global health concern after chronic heart disease. OCD and depression go hand in hand. After all, how can you not feel depressed when you’re caught up in the OCD cycle that is intrusive thoughts, anxiety and ritualistic behaviours. It is believed that 75% of all people suffering from OCD are also in the grips of clinical depression. Arguably the most common co-morbid condition when talking about OCD, the symptoms of depression, when intertwined with OCD can make the sufferer feel extremely isolated and alone. The constant urge to perform obsessive compulsions can quickly lead to a person feeling out of control, despair and helpless.
Being wrapped up in Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is nearly always exhausting, leaving the individual stressed, overly tired, and vulnerable to the symptoms of depression. Routines like going to bed but waking up just as tired, not being able to concentrate on one thing at a time, lack of energy and everything feeling too difficult are some common effects of depression that run alongside obsessive compulsive disorder. Everyone feels down from time to time, that’s normal. However, often a deep sense of emptiness, hopelessness and being unable to enjoy things more regularly can all be signs of depression. The lows of depression can have major impacts on our day to day lives, largely affecting the quality of our day to day experiences. Suffering from depression can be a scary experience, with many people doubting whether they will ever be able to feel those ‘highs’ that they once felt, before life with depression. Regardless of how long you have suffered, we promise you that there is hope. Often things like routine, structure and a the initiation of goals can be the first stepping stones to back to wellness. Please feel free to click on the links below, to find out more.
What is Depression?
Depression has often been described as everything feeling ‘dark and gloomy’, as well as descriptions of being unable to feel real feelings of happiness anymore. It can often display itself in a number of different ways, depending on individual experiences. Some may describe depression as a reaction to negative life events, such as a relationship breakdown, failing an exam or generally just feeling down in the dumps, but for someone truly experiencing the downs of depression, the effects can be much more intense and debilitating than this.
Depressive symptoms and early signs
Often understanding the development of depression, the symptoms and the possible treatments can provide great relief for someone that has been feeling depressed. It can feel overwhelming and extremely hopeless, but the experience of depression doesn’t have to be one that is long lasting or life-long.
Regardless of people’s different experiences, the fact is that depression will not only diminish the quality of one’s life dramatically, but it can often effect a wide array of areas including one’s ability to eat, sleep, hold down a job, support healthy relationships and friendships, and experience ‘fun’ anymore. Often other factors that relate to depression are intense feelings of sadness, low self-esteem, worthlessness, self-doubt, worry and helplessness. Often it can feel like our own mind begins to work against us, and that negative voice in our head can get louder and louder.
Are you depressed?
You may be suffering from clinical depression when you experience several of the following symptoms:
- Sleeping patterns have become irregular (either you can’t sleep or you have started to sleep too much)
- Lack of appetite or you have started overeating
- Feel like you are worthless, that you are not as good as other people
- You are more irritable than you used to be
- You experience intense anger at the smallest thing
- You rely on other external substances to make you feel better, such as drugs or alcohol
- You start to think that life may not be worth living anymore (Please contact a specialist immediately if this is the case)
- You feel trodden down by constant negative thoughts about yourself
The feelings of depression can significantly change from person to person, however, the more intense these feelings of being down become, and the longer lasting they are, the more likely it is that you are suffering from clinical depression.
Here are some of the symptoms in more depth.
- Sleeping patterns becoming irregular: Insomnia, the inability to be able to sleep, or hypersomnia, sleeping too much are common symptoms of a person suffering from depression.
- Over or under eating: Although a common symptom of stress, diet can be largely affected by depressive symptoms. The feeling that ‘I’m just not hungry’, or using food to make yourself feel better can often be signs of depression. A fluctuation of around a 5% change in bodyweight either way can be a good indication.
- Feelings of worthlessness: Our internal bully can become more prevalent when we are depressed. Self-doubt, a deep sense and belief that we are not as good as others, feeling our opinion isn’t as important as other people’s, and constant self-criticism are all feelings of worthlessness.
- Lack of everyday enjoyment: Often the things that we used to enjoy doing just aren’t that fun anymore. We feel that no matter what we do, nothing will be enjoyable. For someone with depression, everything, even places, people or things that used to make the person feel happy no longer bring enjoyment. Everything becomes tainted with a feeling of impending doom or darkness.
- Lack of energy: Depression can make the person feel lethargic, like everything is going to take too much effort. When fully in the grips of depression, even the smallest of tasks can feel like a mountain that needs to be climbed.
- Becoming overly sensitive: Whilst depressed, we can often feel very emotional. Things that people say to you could cause you to over react. There is a higher tendency to cry or display emotions.
- Reckless behaviour: Often substance abuse is used to make a person with depression feel better. Sometimes described as being ‘the only way to feel happy again’. Other reckless behaviour could include gambling, driving carelessly, not taking precautions to stay safe in general, and pushing away the ones closest to us. Link
- An increase in suicidal thoughts or self-harm: Through hopelessness and despair, the person may feel that there is no escape from their depression, and begin to seriously think about taking their own life. If this is the case, or you know someone that may be experiencing this, please take action and contact a professional straight away. An urge to self-harm can also become a habit, used either as a distraction from the depression, or because the person feels that they may deserve it.
What to watch out for when dealing with suicide and depression
Depression can make the individual feel extremely isolated, helpless and scared for their future, and for these reasons suicide is a common theme that runs alongside someone that has been feeling depressed. If you, a loved one or someone you know has had thoughts of committing suicide, or has spoken about taking their own life, it is important to seek the necessary professional help immediately. Here are some of the warning signs of someone that is seriously contemplating taking their own life:
- Talking about taking their own life
- Suddenly becoming calm, or overly happy
- A preoccupation with death
- Reckless behaviour
- Visiting friends or family they haven’t seen in a while, or saying goodbye
- Giving important belongings away
- Saying things like “everyone would be better off if I wasn’t around” or “what’s the point anymore”
Depression and taking the necessary action
Unfortunately depression doesn’t just go away, and finding the right type of treatment can be a tiring and draining idea for someone that is depressed. The key is to start small, and take one day at a time. Staying focussed is the key, and some of the first and most important steps can be something as simple as meeting with friends again, trying to build positive relationships with people.
How can our treatment help?
If your suffering from obsessive compulsive disorder and depression, then our treatment could really help. Many of our clients feel that they will have treatment for their OCD symptoms, with the intention of dealing with the depression at a later date. However, what our clients notice is that in dealing with many of the obsessive tendencies, the depression can take care of itself. After all, how can anyone have OCD and not feel depressed at times. Our program is a holistic one, whereby we not only provide you with tools that can help you to overcome your OCD, but also to live a much more balanced and enjoyable life. At the end of the intensive program, many clients describe feeling free, born again and full of life, feelings which are not associated with feeling depressed. Whilst helping you to change your behaviour, we also look at the fundamental flaws in thinking that can lead to having OCD and depression. When dealing with these, we also cover nutrition, lifestyle and stress to provide you with a program that gives you the best possible chance of success to living a happy life.