OCD and Addiction in Coral Springs FL (954) 775-2925

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is often mischaracterized in the media as an obsession with cleanliness or order. OCD is actually characterized by persistent, unreasonable thoughts and fears that force an individual to perform repetitive behaviors that help to alleviate the fears. Examples of OCD include the unreasonable fear of germs, which leads to excessive hand washing, and the fear of harming one's self or others, which leads to compulsions like counting, checking, or demanding constant reassurance from others.

OCD and addiction in Coral Springs often coincide. If you are concerned about having a mental disorder and a substance abuse problem, contact Alcohol Treatment Centers Coral Springs at (954) 775-2925 for help locating a dual diagnosis center.

How OCD and Addiction Co-Occur

OCD and addiction occur together frequently. Statistics suggest that upwards of 60% of people who suffer from OCD will have a substance abuse disorder at some point in their lives. A larger percentage of people in drug and alcohol rehabilitation have OCD.

The link between the two generally comes down to one of self-medication. People with OCD are tortured by thoughts that they simply can't rid themselves of. Sometimes, the only relief comes from getting drunk or high. Drug and alcohol use begin as a way to escape the horrors of OCD, but then become a problem in their own right.

Common Signs and Symptoms of OCD

OCD is characterized by persistent, unwanted urges or images that cause stress or anxiety (obsessions) and by behaviors designed to reduce such thoughts (compulsions). While almost any thought or action can amount to OCD if repeated, some are more common than others. Here are some of the most common obsessions and compulsions of OCD.

Obsessions

  • Fear of contamination, dirt, or germs
  • Fear of disorder or lack of symmetry
  • Fear of harming one's self or others
  • Persistent unwanted thoughts of a sexual, violent, or religious nature

Compulsions

  • Washing/cleaning
  • Counting
  • Checking (e.g. door locks)
  • Strict adherence to routine
  • Excessive orderliness (e.g. all cans face the same way)

OCD symptoms usually begin gradually and progressively worsen over time. They also tend to worsen during times of distress. Many people don't understand why they have the thoughts they do or why they feel compelled to act out to reduce them. When OCD begins to affect an individual's quality of life, treatment should be sought.

OCD Treatment

OCD can be treated, but seldom cured. The goal of treatment is to reduce symptoms to the point that they no longer have control of an individual's day-to-day life. Treatment can be effectively divided into psychological and medical approaches.

Medications for OCD tend to focus on reducing obsessions. Examples of medications that have shown some benefit include SSRIs (e.g. Prozac, Zoloft, Luvox) and anti-anxiety medications like Ativan, Xanax, and Klonopin.

Psychological treatment is the mainstay of OCD therapy. The goal is to gradually expose individuals to the things that they fear in controlled ways. This technique, called exposure and response prevention (ERP) gives those who suffer from OCD a way to deal with their fears and anxiety. Though the process takes time, it is highly effective.

ERP may be carried out in individual, family, or group sessions. ERP tends to show results after three months and substantial results after six months. That said, it may take years for an individual to overcome OCD with the help of ERP.

Residential Treatment of Co-Occurring OCD and Addiction in Coral Springs

Residential treatment for individuals who suffer from addiction and OCD is likely to be more effective than outpatient treatment because it provides both the addiction treatment and OCD treatment that is necessary to overcome both problems.

Studies show that treating both addiction and OCD simultaneously is far more effective for long-term recovery than treating either one of the conditions alone. Residential treatment provides a safe and secure setting in which individuals have access to the resources they need.

Learn more about finding a treatment facility with Alcohol Treatment Centers Coral Springs at (954) 775-2925.

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