More than a quarter of people who seek treatment for obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) also require drug abuse treatment; OCD and addiction often correlate. Although there are many symptoms of drug abuse, there is often an underlying compulsion that drives the addiction. When a person is given a dual diagnosis of OCD and addiction, treatment is needed to address the OCD as well as the addiction itself. Drug rehab is helpful for combating drug addiction, but treatment for OCD and addiction, depression, or a bipolar disorder may be required.
What Is OCD?
OCD is an anxiety disorder that causes people to experience irrational fears or anxieties. To combat these fears, people may perform compulsive behaviors that dispel the anxieties for a bit. However, this relief is invariably temporary.
How Can OCD Overlap with Addiction
Medical practitioners frequently define addiction as a compulsion to seek stimulus, even from sources known to be dangerous or unhealthy, such as drugs. The compulsion is what links these two illnesses together. Someone with OCD can very easily exhibit compulsive behaviors associated with drugs and alcohol. OCD and addiction can go hand in hand with various types of addictions such as internet or gambling problems.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of OCD?
The signs of OCD can vary from one person to another. Some common compulsive behaviors that might suggest the presence of OCD include an obsessive fear of viruses, fear of illness, or preoccupation with numbers. There will likely be some ritualistic behaviors such as obsessive hand washing, requiring constant reassurances, or performing complex grooming rituals. Depression is not an uncommon symptom of OCD and depression is often combated with substance abuse.
Effects of OCD on Health
People suffering from OCD may often have a lack of serotonin, an important neurotransmitter in their brain. A lack of serotonin is also associated with other mental disorders like anxiety and depression. The stress and anxiety that a person with OCD suffers can profoundly affect their health by increasing their risk of cardiovascular disease and even reducing their immunity.
Treatment for OCD depends on a variety of factors. For instance, OCD and alcoholism may require different treatments than OCD drug addictions. Symptoms of drug abuse and mental disorder must each be carefully assessed by the treatment centers. Specialists will weigh the addiction vs. compulsion issue to arrive at a dual diagnosis and subsequent OCD and addiction treatment plan.
Neither OCD nor substance abuse is uncommon. For that matter, a dual diagnosis of OCD and addiction is common. Because compulsion is associated with both conditions, it is not surprising that research suggests the two conditions share many common traits. It's important to understand, however, that both can be treated and the addict can live a normal life in recovery.
OCD and Drug Addiction
Differences between OCD and drug addiction exist because both are different illnesses. They simply share some common traits such as compulsion. Moreover, suffering from OCD is highly frustrating. Some people turn to illicit substances as an escape from their OCD. Unfortunately, this can lead to serious addiction that requires a more complex treatment plan
OCD and Alcoholism
Alcoholism, like symptoms of drug abuse, is usually easy to spot. However, someone suffering from OCD may find that their alcoholism provides them with temporary relief from their OCD symptoms. Moreover, they may simply feel a compulsion to drink as part of their OCD-induced rituals.
If you or someone you love is suffering from OCD and addiction, please do not hesitate to call us today at 920-227-1500. We can help you find treatment centers.