Co-Morbidity

comorbidDo you know the term?

Co-morbidity is the presence of one or more other disorders co-occuring along with the primary one. For those of us with OCD, our OCD is often co-morbid with depression. The depression seems to usually be a result of the OCD (as opposed to the other way around).

On their website, the Stanford School of Medicine writes:

Patients with OCD are at high risk of having comorbid (co-existing) major depression and other anxiety disorders. In a series of 100 OCD patients who were evaluated by means of a structured psychiatric interview, the most common concurrent disorders were: major depression (31%), social phobia (11%), eating disorder (8%), simple phobia (7%), panic disorder (6%), and Tourette’s syndrome (5%).

They also say:

In Koran et al.’s 1998 Kaiser Health Plan study, 26% of patients had no comorbid psychiatric condition diagnosed during the one year study period — 37% had one and 38% had two or more comorbid conditions. These proportions did not differ substantially between men and women. The most commonly diagnosed comorbid conditions were major depression, which affected more than one-half, other anxiety disorders, affecting one-quarter, and personality disorders, diagnosed in a little more than 10%.

OCD is enough of a beast on its own, but the truth of the matter is that many who struggle with OCD are fighting other demons too.

In my experience, OCD and depression teamed up against me, though, as I wrote before, the depression was secondary to the OCD (in that it was caused by the OCD). Some days I would be full of intense, manic fear caused by OCD, and other days all my sharp edges would be dulled by depression and a feeling that nothing in the world sounded exciting or worthwhile.

I’m so grateful that when ERP helped me steal power away from OCD, the upshot was that depression was defeated too.

For (lots!) more about OCD and ERP, go to jackieleasommers.com/OCD.

 

Image credit: Gerald Gabernig

 

8 thoughts on “Co-Morbidity

  1. Honestly, Jackie, I can’t imagine having OCD and not being depressed! My son’s experience was similar to yours. Once his OCD was under control. his depression lifted. Thank goodness!

  2. My situation is a little different. I can’t for sure which came first in my childhood–the OCD or the depression. But even during times when my OCD has been well-controlled, I’ve suffered from major depression. Depression actually scares me more than the OCD, I guess in part because I have much better tools in hand to handle the OCD.

    • That’s good insight, Tina– and so interesting to hear your take on which you’d rather tackle! For me, the depression was such an ugly, dull lethargy and the OCD was (usually) a high-pitched, frenetic terror … the two were very, very different, and I’m not sure which one was uglier.

  3. Pingback: Question & Dancer: What is “Normal” with OCD? | JACKIE LEA SOMMERS

  4. Pingback: Question & Dancer: When OCD Makes You Doubt You Have OCD [& More] | JACKIE LEA SOMMERS

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