It’s been proven that addiction is a disease, but few people realize that it’s also a mental health disorder. Once your brain becomes compromised from a condition, developing a second one is effortless. For instance, many people who suffer from depression also suffer from anxiety.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder or OCD is an anxiety-based condition. It’s often a comorbidity of addiction. People addicted to drugs and alcohol often find that their anxiety becomes obsessive and drives them to have compulsions and do things they wouldn’t normally do.
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Struggling with OCD alone is no easy task. This mental health disorder causes you to have obsessive thoughts and actions, and it can trigger you to combat these thoughts by doing something to relieve them.
Have you ever checked the stove before you left your home? A person with OCD might turn the stove off and on ten times before they feel satisfied that it’s off. As an anxiety-based disorder, OCD can monopolize your life.
There are various ranges in severity, as some are only minorly bothered by it while others find it debilitating. While these odd behaviors like washing hands or making sure the stove is off are commonplace, they’re not all OCD delivers. Some people find reassurance in routine, and if their performance is disrupted, it can affect them substantially. Adding addiction to the mix is a recipe for disaster.
When OCD and Addiction Are Comorbidities
Since addiction and OCD both occur in the brain, it’s possible to deal with both disorders simultaneously. The addicted brain is wide open to other issues, such as anxiety, depression, as well as personality and mood disorders. It’s nothing you can control or stop, as your brain is vulnerable to these conditions due to addiction’s alterations.
When you have both OCD and addiction together, it’s only normal for you to have routine behaviors you can’t control. Drugs or alcohol can quickly become part of your daily habit, and their abuse of them is not far behind. You may know that the substance you’re about to take is dangerous for you, but you feel an overwhelming desire to follow your ritual.
In fact, you may develop anxiety if you don’t have your “fix” at the usual time. When OCD is present with an addiction, it’s easy to see how people can overdose.
Self-Medicating OCD with Drugs or Alcohol
Find addiction experts to see people who used drugs or alcohol to self-medicate their anxiety disorders. Perhaps, your rituals have become so out of control that you feel like they’re dominating your life. You may turn to illegal drugs to try to combat the pain.
Many people with mental illness use addictive substances as a coping mechanism. It’s not uncommon for someone with schizophrenia to use drugs to try to make the voices in their mind silent. It brings them just a little bit of relief. The only problem is that the relief only lasts for a short while, and soon it will take you more of the same thing to bring any peace.
If you’re treating your anxiety disorder with drugs or alcohol, you probably know by now that it’s a losing battle. These substances only exacerbate the angst you feel, and the desire for more will rule your life. It’s effortless for people to overdose when they’re just trying to get the help they need. Thankfully, there’s a better way.
Final Thoughts on OCD and Addiction
Drug treatment centers that focus on dual diagnosis can benefit those with anxiety and addiction issues. Without treating the underlying OCD issue, you will not successfully treat the addiction. It would help if you treated both simultaneously to find relief.
The good news is that once you get rid of the anxiety, you’ll find it’s much easier to focus on your road to recovery. You don’t want to be another statistic and person who overdoses because you were just trying to get relief. Hope and help are available to you, and you just need to take the first step in your journey towards sobriety.