Distress from OCD always causes you to stay away from friends and family. OCD can also make building new relationships difficult. Both situations can lead to depression and self-medicating with other drugs and alcohol. This leads to repeated substance abuse whenever unwanted thoughts or urges arise. With enough time and abuse, a drug or alcohol addiction can take its form. It is extremely helpful for your daily life once you start getting a proper OCD treatment.
OCD obsessions are urges and thoughts, or frequent and forceful images, that cause you great distress or anxiety. You will try to ignore these obsessions or get rid of them with another thought or action, and this is called performing a “compulsion.”
Common OCD obsessions:
- Having dreadful thoughts of losing a loved one to injury or illness
- Fear of germs, viruses, bacteria or “getting sick”
- Obsessions over “good” or “bad” numbers
- Thoughts of harm toward others or self-harm
- Intrusive images of sexual acts
Addiction and OCD Treatment
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, OCD symptoms may come and go, ease over time, or worsen.  You may try to help yourself by avoiding situations that trigger your obsessions, or you may use alcohol or drugs to calm yourself. That is why a person with OCD is far more likely to develop a chemical dependency or addiction due to alcohol or drug usage. Like depression and many anxiety disorders, alcohol and drug addiction often co-occur with OCD. This pairing can cause serious physical and mental damage. In these dual diagnosis situations of drug addiction and obsessive-compulsive disorder, it is crucial to get the right treatment for both disorders.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) can be treated. The OCD treatments recommended will depend on how much it is affecting your life.
The main treatments are:
Psychological therapy – a type of therapy that helps you face your fears and obsessive thoughts without “putting them right” with compulsions. Therapy for OCD is usually a type of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) with exposure and response prevention (ERP).
This will involve:
- Working with your therapist to break down your problems into their separate parts, such as physical feelings, actions, and your thoughts
- Encouraging you to face your fears in your obsessive thoughts without neutralizing them with compulsive behaviors; you can start with situations that cause the least anxiety first, before moving on to more difficult thoughts
The treatment may sound frightening and difficult, but many people find that when they confront their obsessions, the anxiety eventually improves or goes away. People with mild OCD usually need about 10 hours of therapist OCD treatment. If you have more severe OCD, you may need a longer course of treatment.
Medicines – usually a type of antidepressant medicine that can help by altering the balance of chemicals in your brain. You may need medicine if psychological therapy does not help treat your OCD, or if your OCD is severe. The main medicines prescribed are a type of antidepressant called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). An SSRI can help improve OCD symptoms by increasing the levels of a chemical called serotonin in your brain. You may need to take an SSRI for 12 weeks before you notice any benefits.
These treatments can be highly effective, but it is important for you to know that it can take several months before you notice the benefits.
OCD, Social Isolation, and Addiction
Social isolation caused by OCD can also lead to substance abuse and alcohol addiction. Those who are suffering from OCD understand that their obsessions and compulsions do not make logical sense. Moreover, OCD sufferers — and addicts — often feel shame for thinking and acting the way they do.
Just like drug addiction, OCD can leave people feeling isolated from the outside world. Someone suffering from OCD might avoid important people and social settings to privately keep their obsessions and compulsions. This shame, loneliness, and physical isolation easily lead to addiction or substance abuse.
In fact, our dual diagnosis treatment center is one of the top facilities that employ the proper professionals trained to help treat these very co-occurring disorders concurrently. This type of tandem treatment including OCD treatment provides some of the best success rates for individuals struggling with this comorbidity.
Call today to speak with one of our treatment specialists. Our counselors here at We Level Up NJ know what you are going through and will answer any of your questions. Your call is private and confidential and there is never any obligation.
 https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/obsessive-compulsive-disorder-ocd/ – National Institute of Mental Health