Depressive and anxiety disorder comorbidity in obsessive compulsive disorder

Psychopathology. 2005 Nov-Dec;38(6):315-9. doi: 10.1159/000088920. Epub 2005 Oct 12.


Background: Depressive and other anxiety disorders are commonly found to coexist with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Although western studies have looked at this issue, there are no reports from India investigating anxiety and depressive comorbidity in adult OCD.

Methods: Between January and December 2001, charts of 218 OCD patients seen in the OCD clinic at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore, were evaluated using the OPCRIT criteria for ICD-10 for the presence of comorbid depressive and anxiety disorders.

Results: There were 146 males and 72 females; their mean age at OCD onset was 21.32 +/- 0.64 years. Thirty-six (16.5%) patients had depressive episodes, 12 (5.5%) dysthymia and 15 (6.9%) any anxiety disorder. No significant difference in terms of age, sex, marital status or age at onset was found between the OCD patients with and without comorbid anxiety disorder, major depression or dysthymia, except that female OCD patients were more likely than males to have comorbid major depressive disorder.

Conclusions: The results of our study are in keeping with previous data from other parts of the world, though the actual rates of comorbidity in our sample appear to be much lower. It remains to be seen whether the differences in rates are a result of methodological issues or different characteristics of sample populations. Further long-term, prospective, methodologically sound studies investigating the comorbidity of depressive and other anxiety disorders in OCD patients are needed to clarify this issue.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age of Onset
  • Anxiety Disorders / etiology*
  • Anxiety Disorders / psychology
  • Comorbidity
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depressive Disorder / etiology*
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • India / ethnology
  • Male
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / complications*
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / ethnology
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / psychology*