Sunday, January 8, 2012

Fearing depression

I haven’t written a lot about depression so far except to mention it as an accompaniment to the obsessive compulsive disorder and anxiety I have.
Those of you with OCD know the pain and suffering that go along with the disorder. I have had my share of that suffering.
But for all the pain OCD has caused me and still causes me, I am more afraid of depression.
Medication helped me tremendously with the most horrible aspects of my OCD. That, along with the self-help efforts I’ve made through the years, plus the prospect of starting exposure therapy, give me more hope about living with OCD than with depression.
I’ve read and doctors have told me that people who have OCD also usually have depression.
My depression seems separate from my OCD. In other words, if I didn’t have OCD, I think I would still have depression.
I first thought of the word “depressed” to describe myself when I was a freshman in college. But I remember feeling sad and hopeless as a child, and looking back, I realize I was depressed.
When I’m very depressed, I feel despair. I feel like nothing can make me feel better. I am slow, plodding, and I don’t want to make the effort to do anything. I feel detached from others. I feel dead inside.
I have been on numerous medications for depression and OCD. It’s usually the depression that begins to come back, and medications get changed. I have always been more concerned that the medication helps the depression.
I’m having some problems with depression now. Some of it is situational, I think. I am grieving my Waddles. Some of it, I can’t say what is causing it, except my faulty brain chemicals.
And why does depression scare me?
I am afraid that I will have another episode of major depression. I’m afraid that I’ll feel again like I’m in a dark hole and there’s no hope of getting out. I am afraid of feeling like a dead weight. I am afraid of despair. I am afraid of just existing.
I am afraid that I’ll keep having depressive episodes as long as I live. I’m afraid that depression will always hang over me, no matter how in control of OCD I get.
Yes, I am more afraid of depression than I am of OCD.
How do you deal with depression? If you have OCD and depression, which is harder for you to deal with? Are you ever afraid of your illnesses?


  1. Hi Tina. Sad to hear you are suffering so much now. Yes, I am afraid of my illnesses. I pretty much hate them all equally, I think. I'm doing really well right now, the best I've done in years, and I fear it is only a temporary improvement. I probably spend too much time worrying about it. One of the biggest things my doc says to me when I'm depressed is to force myself to go out and do things (easier said than done). She also stresses not waiting for the motivation to do stuff, as motivation is over-rated. I know CBT can be used for depression as well. Have you pursued any treatment specifically for the depression?

  2. Thank you for your kind comment! Yes, I've had lots of talk therapy for depression, including what I think would be called CBT. And I'm under the care of a psychiatrist for the OCD and depression. You're right--I can't wait for the motivation or for the feeling--I've got to take action. Thanks again for your support.

  3. Sorry you are feeling so awful right now. Yes,i worry that my ocd symptoms will come back or worse even, morph into a new form of ocd i haven't had yet and thus will take me years to overcome/ manage. I try not to think about that too often, tho.

    When i was dealing with my childhood abuse issues and the depression that went with that, my counsellor suggested exercise. So i spent a lot of time walking around my neighborhood. It seemed to help a bit. It didn't take the situation away but made me feel more energetic and alive. Sometimes i noticed that i would get depressed after someone said or did something derogatory to me that i didn't know how to handle. As i worked thru the issues and learned assertive ways to stand up for myself, those depressive times seemed to vanish quicker. Even if i decided NOT to do anything, just recognizing that it was a nasty thing that had happened to me was enuf, as i validated my experiences to myself instead of always hoping someone else would stand up for me.

    Ocd also is very depressing. Esp. on the days/ months that symptoms are very high. It is just plain hard, exhausting work dealing with ocd and realizing it'll be there for a long time. Although, i've found out that ocd spirals: the more i act on it, the more ocd thots i get until i break the spiral. Same goes the other way: the more i don't act on an ocd thot, the less ocd thots i get the rest of the day.

    Maybe you are not on the right meds? i was on cipralex at the beginning because it was the only one i could take and still nurse my baby. I thot it was working because some ocd thots just didn't affect me anymore. I didn't have to check so much to see if i hit someone with my car as i went over a bump/ pothole. I could walk on a cigarrette butt without having to wash my shoes. So i thot it was working. But it didn't take away lots of other contamination issues i had. My counsellor in the new city i moved to sent me to another psychiatrist who put me on clomipramine. Within days what a difference!! I had space to respond to more ocd thots, to not follow them. It wasn't perfect, but better than the other drug. So maybe a different medication might help?? Sometimes just a nap helped me.

    Good luck in finding your solutions!!

  4. Oh yes, depression is the one I fear the most.

    I lived in denial about my own depression for years and years because I never wanted to admit that was what it was.

    Depression and anxiety go together with me, they are opposite sides of the same coin.

    During one of my worst depressive episodes of the last few years, I was so utterly depressed, I could barley function.. yet, I continued on because I recognized that I must, for I had a job to go to, so I continued doing what I needed to do each day at work. But that was all I could do. That was it. I would wake up in the morning, get dressed for work and then lie back down on the bed, crying off the mascara I'd just applied and be shaking with anxiety but feeling utterly hopeless and depressed. It was so scary. So scary. I was not on any medication at the time and my only consolation was prayer which I did often thanks to the OCD.

    I've had a few other scary depressive episodes like that. One of the worst days of depression for me, I could not even lift my head off the pillow. I literally could not get out of bed. All I did was lie in bed all day and cry and feel like a failure. I hated it and it scared me to death. That episode took several weeks to get over and most of the time I felt listless and felt like I was living in a fog. I wasn't on any medication at that time either.

    So, there's some of my story with the depression. Just know you are not alone in fearing it.

  5. I have depression and anxiety and I talk more about my depression. I tend to find that anxiety and depression are bed fellows. One contributes to the other.

  6. Thank you, ladies, for your encouraging comments. It does seem like the depression and anxiety feed off of each other, though it seems weird that they do. Thank you for your helpful suggestions too. I am making it. I know that I could be doing more for myself, like exercising.

  7. I fear them both pretty equally. I can't stand the way I feel when either of them hit. Do you find that they both get worse as you get closer to your period? I absolutely dread that part.

    I am sorry about your cat. I know how that goes. It is always the worse when you are at a vulnerable time with your OCD and the chips of life seem to fall right then and there. I just went through something like that this month and my OCD has been more of a struggle as a result. I pray that you get through all this fast and know there are others out there rooting for you :). Here's to beating OCD!


  8. Cassie, Thank you for your kind words. Yes, sometimes it does seem like OCD can make a bbad time worse. Thanks for the encouragement!

  9. Cassie, Thank you for your kind words. Yes, sometimes it does seem like OCD can make a bbad time worse. Thanks for the encouragement!

  10. Cassie, Thank you for your kind words. Yes, sometimes it does seem like OCD can make a bbad time worse. Thanks for the encouragement!


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