What are Anxiety, Depression, & Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: How do They Connect With Each Other?


Anxiety, Depression, & Obsessive Compulsive Disorder can often co-occur with each other and other disorders. However, what exactly are they?


Anxiety is a generalized term that describes an overwhelming feeling of fear that can vary in intensity from mildly uncomfortable to paralyzing. This fear can have many causes, from the cognitive (the mind) to the behavioral (body). Anxiety is often accompanied by a sense of worry, tension, and even depression. Although these feelings can be symptoms of a different disease, they are all indications of the corresponding ailment – anxiety in the vast majority of cases.

What is anxiety, and how do you know if you suffer from it? An anxiety disorder can affect anyone at any age, although it is more common in younger people who may experience early signs of anxiety or depression. Stress is a prevalent, severe medical condition – just as standard, in fact, like physical illnesses like diabetes or heart disease. Anxiety disorders are also the most pervasive and widespread mental illnesses in the United States, affecting nearly half of the adult population.

When you are anxious, your body often feels tense, depressed, and full of stress – symptoms that can range from mild to severe. A few common types of anxiety include social phobia, generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and specific phobias. 

Someone with chronic stress will usually exhibit symptoms such as constant worry about job performance, relationship problems, housework, or health concerns. Someone unsure of how their body feels or who worries that they are losing control is a classic social phobic. A person with an obsessive-compulsive disorder will be consumed with thoughts of safety, purity, cleanliness, or sexual activity and will continuously be in a state of anxiety about whether these thoughts are every day or not. Someone with a specific phobia will experience extreme panic or fear when exposed to the object of their aversion.


Well, unless you are a doctor, I don’t think you have. For one thing, when you ask a doctor what depression is, they would probably tell you that it is a mental illness, sort of like an addiction, where you feel worthless and horrible all the time. It is common to appear depressed from time to time, but if it is prolonged and affects your life more than a few times a year, you might have chronic depression. It is a severe condition, and you need to see a doctor, talk to a therapist, change your life, or even prescribe medication. If you think you might be experiencing depression, then here are some things that might help you figure out depression.

Stress is one of the most typical contributors to significant depression, whether emotional, mental, or physical. Studies have shown that women whose conflicts tend to develop more severe levels of depression later on in their lives. In addition to stress, another contributor to developing depression is the cycle of abuse. Someone might be abused a lot at home or work and might feel depressed because of it. Other contributing factors are genetics and hormones.

Research has shown that at least half of people with major depression also have mood swings characterized by alternating periods of sadness and mania. Mood disorders can be mild (in most cases) to moderate to severe, affecting both men and women, even children. If you possess any of these signs, you should see your doctor because it could be depression or another mood disorder. Even if you feel sad a lot or are irritable, it is still essential that you visit a doctor to ensure that there are no other, more severe issues underlying it.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)?

OCD is a condition that has been classified as a type of obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorder. OCD is a repetitive behavioral pattern where an anxiety-stricken person performs ritualistic actions to alleviate anxiety. OCD is considered a condition when the obsessions and compulsions interfere with the person’s life significantly.

Many believe that Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is a person with a broken heart who becomes fixated on the thought of revenge and wants to exact revenge on those who have made them feel bad. This is not the case as people with OCD exhibit no ill intent in their behavior. Instead, what is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is a compulsive behavior that can be controlled. If you suffer from this disorder, there are treatments available to reduce and prevent action.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), which helps people with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder deal with distressing thoughts and beliefs, is often useful in treating this condition. 

CBT is based on the notion that repetitive behavior (like the compulsive behavior described above) is not a problem in itself but is symptomatic of a dysfunctional condition. In other words, a person suffering from compulsive behavior may be suffering from another mental or emotional issue, and the mere thought patterns used to combat those issues (such as anxiety or stress) may help to correct the underlying condition. If you, or someone you know, suffer from this condition, it is vital to seek help as soon as possible.