OCD and Addiction

Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is a condition where the individual experiences either obsessions or compulsions happening frequently which interfere with daily life. Obsessions are recurring thinking interfering with the individual's normal thinking. The individual is aware these thoughts and worries are excessive or have no basis in reality.

Compulsions are repetitive behaviors a person feels compelled to perform, hard to resist, and performed to relieve stress. The individual with compulsions have anxiety and panic attacks if not allowed to engage in compulsive behaviors to alleviate the stress.

Overlap of OCD and Addiction

OCD and addiction commonly overlap as those with addictions are typically obsessed with cravings to experience drugs' effects. They feel compelled to use alcohol or drugs repeatedly despite the consequences, demonstrating a link between OCD and addiction. Also, OCD individuals frequently turn to alcohol or drugs to self-medicate and alleviate symptoms from their condition. OCD and addiction are then a dual diagnosis.

Get help for your dual diagnosis with drug rehab in Philadelphia.

OCD Symptoms and Signs

Examples of compulsions include counting, tapping, repeating words, repeating prayers and performing other actions in patterns. Examples of this include ensuring doors are locked, appliances are turned off, or washing hands, putting things in order and praying. Performing these behaviors are to decrease anxiety or to prevent an unrealistic negative event. An example of an event is becoming sick if hands aren't washed on a regular schedule or someone will die without prayers being repeated. The symptoms of OCD have a significant impact on the person's daily life or functioning. Examples of this include having difficulty concentrating or not sleeping despite feeling exhausted, causing significant stress, or occupying large amounts of time.

OCD and Health Effects

One of the major impacts OCD has on health is when an individual turns to substances for symptom relief. This prolonged self-medication leads to addiction and the person's health may be seriously impacted by the continuous intake of substances. Also, seen in hand washers or hair pullers, these habits may lead to painful, raw skin due to excessive hand washing or hair pulling.

OCD and addiction can be difficult to deal with. Fortunately, you don't have to go through this struggle alone. Drug treatments in Philadelphia are available to help, as well as Narcotics Anonymous meetings, where you can bond with fellow and recovering addicts.


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