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The Role of OCD in Addiction

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The Role of OCD in Addiction

The realities of living with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) can often be overlooked by misinformation and stigmatism. It, however, is very real and affects the lives of many every single day. The role of OCD in its contribution to addiction is greater than some might think. 

Your mental health plays a significant role in every capacity of your life. Being aware of any mental health conditions that you are experiencing is very important. When you can properly maintain your mental health and any conditions that may exist, you have a better balance and ability to maintain a good state of mental health. 

Unfortunately, there are times when different things that are experienced negatively affect your mental state and lead to bad habits. Addiction is not something that just happens. There’s usually a catalyst that catapults one into it; for some, that can be OCD. 

Treatment for mental health as well as addiction, is a light at the end of the tunnel. You, however, have the option of choosing where that tunnel ends. Your life does not have to be ruled by OCD or addiction. Lantana Recovery and other treatment centers with therapists that treat dually diagnosed populations exist and are here to help you start living again. 

Breaking Down the Role of OCD in Addiction: What Is OCD?

OCD is a heterogeneous condition in which one experiences excessive thoughts or obsessions that lead to repetitive behaviors or compulsions. These obsessions are fueled by fears that become intrusive and overwhelming. 

As the mind becomes flooded with these thoughts and fears, individuals develop ritualistic actions to prevent the fears from becoming realities. For example, an individual that may have a form of OCD relating to germs will go throughout their days cleaning, recleaning, and avoiding germs at all costs. 

Different Types of OCD

There are four common types of OCD. These four include:

  • Contamination OCD: Contamination OCD is when you have an extreme fear of becoming contaminated. This may show up in compulsions such as constantly washing hands, wearing gloves in public,  or other extreme measures of staying clean. 
  • Symmetry or order OCD: Symmetry or order OCD is when everything has to be a certain way. This could be from closets or drawer organization to pantry or refrigerator storage. If things do not remain in a specific way, you have to fix it immediately. When things are not how they should be, you are completely thrown off. 
  • Hoarding OCD: Hoarding OCD is when you have a need to hang on to things. Compulsive hoarding looks like a home or space filled with useless papers, clothes, food, and other items that do not serve a purpose. The hoarding can be a response to thoughts or fears related to traumas of the past or present. 
  • Harm OCD: Harm OCD is living in a constant fear that you will bring harm or be of danger to yourself or others. You are plagued with the desire to act on these fears. This can be accidental or indirect harm, like leaving the stove on and causing a fire, or a more direct act. 

The Role of OCD in the Development of Addiction

OCD takes on many forms, and each can torment the mind. The constant thoughts, fears, and actions can cause daily stress. Living from day to day requires the use of a healthy mind. However, when plagued by untreated OCD, your mind is not healthy. 

This is how OCD can play a significant role in the development of addiction. As a mental health disorder, OCD is something that requires treatment. However, it does not always get acknowledged or diagnosed. 

As a result, instead of trying to treat the condition itself, you may try to escape what you are feeling. Individuals struggling with OCD often use drugs and alcohol to suppress OCD symptoms. This unfortunately does not help but instead causes a vicious cycle of worsening symptoms and addiction. 

What Dual Diagnosis Treatment Looks Like at Lantana Recovery

Dual diagnosis is common. Many individuals struggle with substance abuse and mental health disorders unknowingly. Thankfully, treatment centers like Lantana Recovery offer treatment options that can work to heal both mental health and substance use disorders (SUDs). 

Addiction and OCD are known to be leading disabling psychiatric conditions. As such, we work with you to address your specific needs in the best ways that we can. Our therapists are versed in treating both addiction and mental health disorders. 

At Lantana Recovery, we can treat your OCD with different forms of therapy that can, in tandem, work to treat your addiction. There are also activities that are held in community settings to help you with the transition from how you came in to how you will leave. 

If you have OCD and it has led to struggling with addiction, we can help you release the weight of both. You can live a life free of obsessive fear, compulsive actions, and addiction. Let us help you live again. 

OCD is a mental health condition that, in some cases, plays a role in the development of addiction. Sometimes OCD is overlooked as a mental health disorder. However, it is just as serious as any other. When dealing with the compulsions and complexities of this mental health disorder, one may try to elevate the stress and anxiety with substance use. Then over time, a dependency on the substance is developed, and you find yourself in addiction. However, this creates an ongoing system of what seems to be helping but is only causing more harm. This co-occurring disorder can be treated simultaneously at treatment facilities like Lantana Recovery. Call us at (866) 997-2870 for more information on treatment options today. 

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Charleston South Carolina

Charleston South Carolina

Located on the historic peninsula of Charleston, South Carolina, Lantana Recovery takes a modern approach to Substance Use Disorder treatment, offering intensive clinical care while also immersing our clients in local Charleston culture.