Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Substance Abuse Disorder

Obsessive compulsive disorder, or OCD is characterized by persistent thoughts cycling through their minds that trigger anxiety and worry about what are often irrational fears. These fears become something the person struggling with the disorder ends up obsessing over and in an effort to try to neutralize these thoughts, people with obsessive compulsive disorder develop rituals whether consciously or subconsciously these rituals are meant to safeguard against the obsessions or fears that haunt the person’s mind. The person struggling with obsessive compulsive disorder are compelled to do these rituals, they are compulsions in reaction to the obsessions.


Unfortunately the media portrays obsessive compulsive disorder as a joke. Like many other mental illnesses the stigmatized version of the disorder is represented in television characters and movie supporting roles that are meant to be a form of comic relief. As people watch these shows and films they see the person struggling with OCD, as the character tries to control their space, as they perform these compulsive acts in a, effort to calm the recurring anxieties they experience and the audience laughs. If it isn’t portrayed as a joke, even more disturbing though probably less frequent is the tendency for OCD to be turned into the trait of the villain, usually a violent predatory character.


This is problematic in multiple ways. Not only is it demonstrably not an accurate portrayal of the disorder, but also it can complicate a person’s experience in the world when they suffer with the disorder. Imagine facing the world when the people around you think of you as a joke just due to an illness from which you suffer, or worse are afraid of you because of it. Just the stigma of having a mental illness and in this case obsessive compulsive disorder, could lead someone to a drug or alcohol addiction.


Dual Diagnosis Treatment

A substantial number of people who report struggling with obsessive compulsive disorder also report struggling with an addiction to some type of drug or alcohol. The earlier someone begins exhibiting signs and symptoms of OCD, the more likely they are to abuse substances early and eventually develop a chemical dependency on some sort of addictive substance be it illegal or no, presumably in another effort in quelling their spinning obsessions and the depression that may well come due to the anxieties they suffer. There’s no way to successfully treat someone who has both obsessive compulsive disorder and an addiction to drugs or alcohol without treating both of the disorders simultaneously.

Kinds of Treatment Available

At FHE Health someone struggling with addiction to drugs or alcohol will be able to work with licensed clinicians to create a treatment plan that is specified to their experiences and their struggles. FHE has a variety of treatment options such as inpatient drug rehab in South Florida. Drug rehab that takes place in an outpatient detox center in South Florida is usually a great option for some people who cannot be away from home, but a more extended inpatient stay is usually a relief for the person struggling with addiction because they are able to get away from the pressures and stressors of their everyday life and focus fully on recovery. Call today to find out which programs are best for you.


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