Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder in which people experience repeated or unwanted thought, ideas, feelings, behaviors, or sensations causing them to feel compelled to do something. This may include the need for a person to carry out behaviors in order to get rid of these obsessive thoughts, which is only a temporary solution.

Approximately 2.2 million men and women in the U.S. are affected by OCD. Individuals diagnosed with a mental disorder are said to be twice as likely to develop drug abuse problems. While it is not proven that mental illness definitively causes addiction, it is shown that mental illness plays a role in substance abuse.

An estimated 27 percent of participants in a study published by the Journal of Anxiety Disorders, all of whom were diagnosed with OCD, actually met the criteria needed for a co-occurring substance abuse disorder. Approximately 70 percent of these participants reported that OCD symptoms began prior to the development of a substance abuse disorder.

Many individuals with OCD cope by self-medicating with drugs or alcohol. This provides short relief and leads to an exhausting cycle of repeated abuse. When enough time of abuse passes, an addiction can then form. The social isolation caused by obsessive-compulsive disorder can also lead to addiction to drugs or alcohol.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder is said to have a genetic component, occurring more often in family members. Those with OCD are often aware that their fears are unreasonable but are unable to control their need to perform the compulsive rituals that relieve those fears.

Signs and symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder include:

  • Intrusive thoughts
  • Fear of contamination
  • Constant checking
  • Hoarding
  • Hand washing
  • Cleaning

These behaviors can consume so much of the individual’s time that they interfere with other daily activities.

If you or a loved one are suffering with obsessive compulsive disorder and addiction to drugs or alcohol, the addiction specialists at Silicon Beach Outpatient Center are here to help. We have a team of therapists who are specially trained in the treatment of obsessive compulsive disorder and addiction. When a client is diagnosed with a mental health disorder and addiction, it is known as a co-occurring disorder. A co-occurring disorder requires specialized treatment where both conditions are treated simultaneously. Contact Silicon Beach Outpatient Center today to learn more about our drug and alcohol treatment program at 310.846.8215.