Does your depression ever make you feel overly motivated instead of unmotivated? If so, then you are not alone. When many people hear the word “depression,” an image comes to mind of a person by themselves—typically staying in bed and being inactive. The reality is, depression is multifaceted. If you are currently talking to a therapist and have not discussed the different ways in which your depression manifests, I highly encourage it because you may learn things about your depression that you did not know previously.
In my experience, I have had the types of days when I was not motivated to leave my room and felt depression actually weighing me down. However, I also would have other days that my therapist told me were fueled by “OCD-like tendencies”—my therapist said this also was an effect of my depression.
This came as a surprise to me. I was not diagnosed with OCD, but my therapist explained that she thought I did enter that mindset sometimes. During these days, I would spend hours cleaning my room, throwing out things I needed, making sure nothing was on the floor of the house, and feeling like I had unlimited energy. When I was in those moments, I would feel productive, but it was only after the spells ended that I realized it was an unhealthy compulsion.
If you can relate to this experience, your depression may also manifest itself as an OCD-tendency state. My therapist explained to me this was my mind’s way of distracting myself from my thoughts and sadness. Instead of lying down and letting the depression hit me, I was fighting it off obsessively through my actions. But it didn’t work: the more I fervently cleaned and threw away, the more depressed I was becoming.
How can you manage this compulsive behavior?
Let your therapist know that you would like some advice. My therapist was extremely helpful in giving me strategies to approach this problem. Now, I am able to catch myself when I begin to fall into those compulsions. It is a mechanism that hasn’t gone away completely, but it has reduced significantly since I asked my therapist for help.
Communication is key! Do not struggle in silence. If you are dealing with a similar situation, let someone else in your life know. You will soon be able to come up with a way of combatting this, and your mind will be at ease.
If you are unsure whether you have depression with OCD tendencies or even diagnosable OCD, there are resources available to you online to get an idea of your symptoms. Here is an article to introduce you to common traits of OCD.
Depression does not always present as “sadness.” Sometimes you have other symptoms, such as the ones mentioned above, or you’re irritable or angry or you feel guilty. What are some of your experiences or symptoms of depression or anxiety? Do you feel some symptoms are stigmatized (such as sadness and depression)? Please share with us in the comments section!