Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is made up of obsessions, or unwanted thoughts and images that the patient can't get rid of, and compulsions, such as ritualistic hand-washing, repeating, counting, or checking. Typically, the compulsions are performed in order to get rid of the obsessions, but they can occur independently of one another. The intrusive thoughts and subsequent rituals can take up several hours each day, and may disrupt normal life to the extent that the patient cannot function without treatment.
Treatment for this disorder combined with addiction treatment is available. Contact Drug Rehab Columbia at (803) 234-4123 for help locating a treatment center.
Obsessive compulsive disorder, or OCD, and addiction are much more common than many people realize. OCD affects about 2.2 million Americans, or roughly 1% of the population, although that number may actually be higher considering the people who may be living with undiagnosed OCD. Unfortunately, OCD and addiction tend to go hand in hand. In fact, OCD is more likely than many other mental disorders to co-occur with addiction - an estimated 25% of those who suffer from OCD, in fact, also struggle with a substance abuse disorder. When OCD and addiction occur together, they must be treated together for complete recovery to be possible.
While the majority of OCD patients first experience symptoms in early adulthood, childhood OCD does occur. Patients who develop OCD in childhood are more likely to abuse illicit substances than those who develop the disorder later in life. Without the coping mechanisms that are learned in therapy, the fear and anxiety that OCD produces often pushes people into substance abuse as a means of coping.
Substance abuse makes the disorder worse, resulting in a cycle of abuse that young people don't know how to escape. Although the cycle is less likely to occur in adult-onset OCD patients, the same concept applies in older addicts. Alcohol and opiates, such as heroin or the prescription medications Vicodin and OxyContin, are the most commonly abused substances in OCD patients.
Behavioral addictions are also very common among those with OCD. It may be difficult, in fact, to distinguish a behavioral addiction from a compulsion. OCD usually creates a heightened sense of self-consciousness, which can lead to behavioral addictions such as plastic surgery addiction or exercise addiction. For this reason, eating disorders are also common among OCD patients.
People with OCD can be very good at hiding their disorders. It may take a long time for the addiction to spin out of control, at which point the treatment for the dual diagnosis may be more difficult. If you suspect that someone you love may be hiding an addiction you should try to get them treatment right away.
Signs of an addiction that occurs alongside OCD include:
Once a dual diagnosis of OCD and addiction has been reached, finding a drug treatment center that can treat both at the same time, and which has a focus on relapse prevention, is vital. Cognitive-behavioral therapy, or CBT, is the most common treatment for OCD, and can be used to help treat addictions as well.
CBT helps patients learn to change their thought patterns in order to change their behaviors. Dual diagnosis patients will also spend time in group therapy and may complete one of many drug and alcohol addiction programs as they learn to manage their OCD.
If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction, and you suspect OCD may play a part, seek help from a qualified professional today. There is a treatment available. Contact Drug Rehab Columbia at (803) 234-4123 to find a treatment center today.