The treatment of OCD can be made more difficult by the presence of other mental health disorders, and vice versa. For example, individuals with MDD and OCD may have to deal with the presence of suicidal thoughts in addition to obsessions and compulsions.
When OCD is diagnosed along with another disorder, it is important for any professional treating the disorders to prioritize and treat the more serious disorders first, for example, it would be best to deal with any suicidal thoughts before focusing on any OCD treatment. Then the therapist will have to come up with a plan to address all the symptoms in the most effective way, with therapy, medications, or a combination of both.
Because it is not uncommon to have more than one diagnosis, individuals with OCD need to work with their therapists and be honest about their symptoms, any medication side effects, and their willingness to potentially delay the treatment of their OCD so that another more serious diagnosis may be addressed first.
On the other hand, if their OCD is making other disorders worse, then the OCD may initially need to be the main focus of treatment.
A thorough diagnostic interview is necessary before the therapist and the person with OCD can come up with a definitive treatment plan.