OCD and Addiction
About OCD and Addiction
OCD stands for obsessive-compulsive disorder. This is a serious anxiety disorder that can have very damaging effects on someone’s life. It is one of the most common mental illnesses in America nowadays. Many of us experience occasional obsessive thoughts or worries, either based on a real or projected fear. For an individual with OCD, these obsessive thoughts can consume their entire life, interrupting daily routines, work, and personal relationships. The exact process each individual deals with varies, but some of the more common manifestations of OCD are repetitive routines such as hand washing, incessant and repetitive cleaning or organizing, and checking in on loved ones repeatedly throughout the day. There are other OCD processes listed further down the page should you be concerned a loved one might be displaying any of these symptoms and need help. The OCD diagnosis and integration of medications can often trigger OCD and addiction patterns that will require professional help sorting out.
It is important to understand that OCD is a diagnosable mental illness that requires treatment, especially if OCD and addiction are co-occurring. The symptoms of OCD can often become evident during childhood, often during the pre-teen years, and again as children mature into adults. Because of the type of mental illness it is, OCD is considered a disability and should be treated as such. There is plenty of evidence suggesting that individuals who struggle with the social aspects of OCD often turn to drugs and alcohol for an escape. As a result, those with an OCD diagnosis are considered to be at a significantly higher risk of illicit drug addiction requiring inpatient rehab in Huntington Beach.
Once binge drinking and drug abuse have become part of the individual’s routine, the OCD symptoms can become impossible to manage. This can cause one of two things; the reality to sink in and admission to inpatient treatment programs or an increase in self-medication of illicit drugs and alcohol. Should you feel that your loved one needs to recognize the state of their body and mind, an intervention might be needed. OCD generates a lot of emotional and mental pain and sufferers might turn to substance abuse if they don’t know how to cope with it.
OCD and Addiction Realities
For individuals who have struggled with OCD and addiction the shame, they feel about their compulsivity and drug abuse can cause them to literally go into hiding. This should be a worrisome sign that they need immediate intervention and possibly inpatient treatment for OCD and addiction near them. The dangers associated with leaving OCD and addiction untreated can be grave. At Coastline Treatment we understand that broaching the subject of drug addiction can be very stressful for all, but it is important to keep in mind that not doing so can create many deep regrets. It is also important to remember that drug and alcohol addiction are diseases, and like all diseases, require specialized treatment by professionals within a drug and alcohol treatment center.
Characters with OCD have been widely portrayed in many movies and on television too but are the real facts about this disorder? Living with intrusive thoughts is not easy and generally interfere with a healthy daily life, but also with your relationships with other people, your career, school, and many other aspects. For the people who suffer from it, getting intoxicated might seem like the only solution to escape such persistent thoughts. When you have OCD, you are perfectly aware that your thoughts are not normal and rather unreasonable but you can’t control the need to perform rituals or actions to feel temporarily relieved.
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OCD and Addiction Signs and Symptoms
The most common OCD symptoms are the following:
- Fear of Germs
- Fear of dirty environment or substances
- Fear of being harmed
- Fear of family members or friends being harmed
- Fear of becoming sick
- Being obsessed with counting items
- Being obsessed with sexual words or images
- Fear of being bad and feelings of guilt
When OCD leads to addiction, it is pretty common to notice symptoms such as social isolation, mood swings, lying about substance usage, not being able to function properly on some days, and modified sleep patterns. Most people, in this case, are addicted to opiates, painkillers, heroin, alcohol, and sometimes they also self-medicate their anxiety by taking medicine believed to be able to decrease their stress level.
OCD and Addiction Recovery
As we have seen, OCD can lead to substance addiction. Treating OCD early can prevent the patient from developing addictions of any kind. Avoiding self-medication with over-the-counter or illegal substances is the main goal. We treat OCD as a co-occurring disorder and create custom treatments for patients who don’t exactly belong to drug rehab or alcohol rehab. Most people are afraid to enter a treatment facility since it represents a new, uncontrollable, environment. Behavioral modification therapies and medication are the most common way to treat OCD and addiction. Exposing the patient to the object of its fear without letting him perform the ritual he/she is used to is the best way to eliminate irrational fears and to reduce anxiety levels. This type of therapy is called CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy).