Obsessive-compulsive disorder, or OCD is a condition characterized by uncontrollable, recurring thoughts and behaviors. The popular conception of someone with OCD is that she keeps a meticulously clean house, arranges everything by color, size, or place in the alphabet, and simply must straighten an unlevel picture. In reality, OCD can take many different forms. The symptoms of OCD can be debilitating and interfere with work, school, and relationships. We often use “obsessive” in a casual way to mean we’re really interested in something. However, in this sense of the word, we actually like what we’re obsessed with, whether it’s music, baseball, or our favorite film director. People with OCD aren’t obsessive in the sense of being really interested in something. In fact, the opposite is true. They have recurring thoughts they don’t want to have. Typical obsessive thoughts have to do with contamination, such as with germs or chemicals, harming themselves or others, perverse sexual thoughts, and perfectionist thinking. Most of the time, people with OCD obsess over things they don’t want to happen. They don’t want to be covered in germs, they don’t want to harm themselves or others, and so on. This desire to prevent the obsessive thoughts from becoming reality is typically what leads to compulsive behaviors. For example, someone obsessed with germs will wash her hands excessively and compulsively. Or someone who obsesses over the possibility of a home invasion may compulsively check to see if the door is locked. These are reasonable precautions, but people with OCD take them to unreasonable lengths. What’s more, they often know they are acting unreasonably, but they can’t stop. They feel compelled to complete these rituals they know waste time and interfere with their lives. They also don’t get any enjoyment from these rituals. The best they can hope for is slight relief after finishing them. As you might expect, living with OCD is extremely stressful. You have to deal with intrusive thoughts and manage them with irrational rituals. People often use drugs or alcohol to try to suppress the intrusive thoughts and relieve their anxiety. This is why OCD is also a significant risk factor for addiction. About 25 percent of people who seek help for OCD have a substance use disorder. Also, childhood trauma or abuse increase your chances of developing both OCD and addiction. If you are suffering from both OCD and addiction, it’s necessary to find a program that can treat a dual diagnosis.
If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction and OCD, we can help. Recovery Ways is a premier drug and alcohol addiction treatment facility located in Salt Lake City, Utah. We have the resources to effectively treat a dual diagnosis. Our mission is to provide the most cost-effective, accessible substance abuse treatment to as many people as possible. Request information online or call us today at 1-888-986-7848.