When Depression Battles OCD, and Anxiety Becomes the Middle Man


I have both obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and major depressive disorder, and they are constantly at battle with each other.

My OCD requires things from me, in very certain ways and on no uncertain terms. It tells me what to do, when do to do it and exactly how, and if I don’t, OCD’s friend anxiety comes to teach me a lesson.

My depression is like OCD’s lazy younger sibling who doesn’t want to listen to, or do anything they are told. OCD says you need to shower, depression says that’s too much work; OCD says you need to keep going until you fix it, depression says it’s pointless and so am I; OCD says to wait until you have looked at every list before you decide, depression says I’m tired and to just give it up.

So, anxiety is caught in the middle, trying to play middle man and make them work things out, but it’s only making things worse — it’s making me worse.

When my depression keeps me from my compulsions, I get overly anxious and can’t do or concentrate on anything, but when my OCD makes me do anything requiring mental, physical, or emotional strength, I get so tired, like I haven’t slept in days and I am out of commission for a while (even though I got 10 hours of sleep last night).

Neither of these are easy. They hate each other and they really hate me. All they do is fight over who gets to control me, and they take turns winning.

They are opposites at battle, but what they don’t realize is that, in the end, the real winner will always be me. No matter how many days they think they win, I am the victor in the end. I took my medicine today, I washed my hair yesterday, I’ll finish that tomorrow, I’ll take a quick nap then get down to business, I’ll go outside today, and the list of tiny accomplishments will always trump anything OCD or depression think they can do to me.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Thinkstock photo via yngsa


Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.


Related to Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

dark haired girl with hands to head at night

How It Feels to Resist an OCD Compulsion

Editor’s note: If you struggle with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741. To find help visit International OCD Foundation’s website. Recovery from obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) means resisting compulsions in conjunction with therapy. For anyone who hasn’t experienced OCD, it [...]
woman holding coffee cup with tattoo saying guts over fear

Why We Need to Talk About the Truth of OCD

Editor’s note: If you struggle with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741. To find help visit International OCD Foundation’s website. For as long as I can remember, I have heard people say they are “so OCD” or “I definitely [...]
woman lays in the middle of a road

There Is So Much More to My OCD Than Most People Know

OCD, you aren’t what I thought you were. You aren’t simply about washing hands under scorching hot water with antibacterial soap until the skin shrivels and bleeds with each rinse and repeat; nor are you the scratch of the sharp bristles of the potato brush under my brittle and jagged nails where all deadly parasites [...]
mom holds son in her arms

What I Wish You Knew About My Son With OCD

Every few months, a post along the lines of “You Know You Have OCD If…” makes its way around Facebook. The mention things like: If you don’t like an off center bathroom tile. If a crooked picture bothers you. If leaving 17 seconds on the microwave timer at work upsets you. My son has obsessive [...]