Recently, this blog discussed anxiety disorders and some of the different ways in which anxiety can manifest and disrupt an individual's life. Today's post is going to go over Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and the ways in which it can coexist with substance abuse.
A person with OCD experiences recurring fears and worries that can lead to anxiety. In an effort to gain relief from these feelings, the person will begin to engage in repetitive behaviors, also called rituals. It is possible that during the time the person is suffering from OCD, they may also be struggling with an eating disorder or substance abuse. Due to the fact that various mental health issues often occur simultaneously, it is important to seek out dual diagnosis treatment centers with a team that is skilled in identifying the root cause. This approach gives patients a better chance at making a full and lasting recovery.
What are some of the signs of OCD?
There are a number of indications that a person may be suffering from OCD. Some of these include not wanting to shake hands due to a fear of contamination, an avoidance of social situations that may trigger an obsession, or feelings of intense stress when an object is not facing the right way, doubts that one has not turned the stove off after locking the door, among others. This disorder can have potential physical signs as well, as those with OCD may pick at their skin or pull their hair. As a result of these behaviors, the individual may also have skin lesions or hair loss.
When affected by OCD, the repetitive thoughts and behaviors can become overwhelming and begin to present disruptions to daily life and functioning. The person may wash their hands repetitively, count items obsessively or experience unwanted and intrusive thoughts. If this is happening, it is time to seek help.
OCD and substance abuse
Because of the anxiety a person with OCD experiences, he or she may turn to drugs or alcohol to reduce the effects of the disorder. However, this can lead to addiction, making it essential to seek professional assistance that both addresses the psychological aspects of the OCD as well as provides the appropriate drug addiction treatment.
Additionally, it is possible that individuals suffering from OCD may also have an eating disorder or another mental health issue that is occurring at the same time. To give a person struggling with OCD and substance abuse the best chance at making a successful and lasting recovery, it is essential to account for all of the variables at play. This is why the dual diagnosis approach is so effective — when each present disorder is correctly diagnosed, it becomes possible to treat each aspect that is contributing to an individual's suffering.
At Fairwinds Treatment Center, we specialize in a dual diagnosis approach to treatment that accounts for identification and treatment of all concurrent conditions. Our treatment centers recognize the importance of this approach in helping patients experience a lasting recovery, breaking the cycles of mental illness and substance abuse. Founded by Dr. M.K. (Khal) El-Yousef in 1989, the Fairwinds team of highly skilled and trained professionals work to provide psychological and emotional support while facilitating healing from these disorders. Contact us today to learn more about how our comprehensive treatment programs can help you or your loved one experience recovery.