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Can depression and anxiety cause OCD-like symptoms?

By October 3, 2018November 19th, 2020Dr. Jenny Yip, OCD
girl with depression and ocd

Can depression and anxiety cause OCD-like symptoms?

In the last few years, the amount of attention drawn to mental health has increased significantly. The amount of research done on the topic has increased as more and more people have come forward about their mental health. Some of the most common mental health issues have been depression and anxiety. These are commonly linked to other problems with mental health and can often lead to symptoms of other disorders or can be mistaken as such. One of the biggest focuses in the mental health world right now is if depression or anxiety can cause OCD-like symptoms. Symptoms can be different for everyone, so getting the right treatment to help discover if your depression is causing you to feel as though you have OCD.


Diagnostic evaluation

The best way to dial in on this subject is to get evaluated. Evaluations are done to understand how your life has previously been affected by anxiety. These evaluations ask you to talk about your family history and any past experiences you’ve had that can trigger symptoms of anxiety or symptoms of depression. When you go through an evaluation, you are one step closer to getting a personalized treatment plan, dedicated to helping you overcome what may seem like a challenge. These evaluations also help decipher if you have anxiety and it is turning into something more, such as OCD


Other Ways To Tell

Besides evaluations, there are many other ways to tell if you are struggling from anxiety or depression. Many online resources are readily available for easy use. People who are in a position where they don’t necessarily have access to a professional evaluation use a depression and anxiety test for help determining if their life is being overcome with anxiety. This is a quick and accessible resource, and most of the time, it is the best way for people to get the results they are looking for. These tests also help people create their own treatment plans. Through the right research and right results, people are able to personalize treatment themselves and make it work for their own schedules. These test results also gives patients looking to receive treatment the option to decide what kind of treatment they feel like would work the best.



Treatment plans often include medications. Medication for depression and anxiety is extremely important and extremely effective. People who have OCD, anxiety, and depression result to medications to help manage their symptoms. Medications are only effective when they are taken as directed, so if you are looking to manage your mental health with medication, make sure you are taking them as directed. Not taking the medications as directed will only work against you and will not give you the support that you need to help maintain your mental health and the symptoms that come with it. The medications that usually work to balance OCD are similar to those that help with depression. Serotonin is the main component that is used to help with depression and OCD. It’s important to recognize that not every single anti-depressant will help manage OCD, but since symptoms of OCD and depression can be so similar, most of the time, the same medications do work.


How does the Medication Work?

There is still extensive research to be done about how medications can actually improve OCD symptoms. Though there is not an exact understanding of why these medications have such a strong impact on the brain and how that actually works. This may be the case, but the positive side of all of this is that scientists and doctors know that these medication have proven to work and will continue to discover why in the future. The medication will not work immediately, and some medications can take up to several months to work effectively. Patience is absolutely key when testing medications for OCD and determining what works for you. Consistently taking the medication as soon as you get prescribed will only benefit you down the road and will help you decide on what medications work for you as soon as your body gets time to adjust. Medication can be extremely scary to start because you don’t know how your body will react, so don’t be afraid to going to your doctor with any questions and concerns that may arise.


Side Effects

There are some side effects with these medications, which is completely normal. If you start to experience effects that feel like they are lasting longer than they should, consult your doctor as soon as possible.


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