In What Ways Do OCD Sufferers Self-Medicate?
It is probably fair to say that obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is one of the most misunderstood conditions with many of us getting the impression that it is a controllable affliction that tends to make you hyper-organized and anxious, but it is something you can cope with as you get on with your life.
The alarming number of people who end up seeking help through a drug and alcohol rehab option will help to illustrate that OCD is actually a mental illness that is far more serious than the general public perception of how the condition affects people with OCD.
Here is a look at how OCD sufferers try to cope with their condition and some ways they might self-medicate.
Feelings of isolation
Aside from how physically challenging it can be to try and cope with OCD, there is also the difficulty that many in this situation face with regard to feeling that they need to try and cope on their own and keep their problem away from others.
These feelings of isolation make you more vulnerable to trying to self-medicate in order to try and keep a lid on your feelings and enjoy some temporary relief from the symptoms.
The fundamental problem with this approach is the fact that the feelings of social isolation created by OCD can easily lead to attempts to self-medicate by turning to drugs or alcohol.
Tring to keep your OCD from public view is often a key driver for substance abuse problems.
A fundamental point to consider about OCD is that it is underpinned by a series of repeated behaviors and a series of rituals that you go through in order to cope and feel calm.
The fact that you may have overwhelming feelings of compulsion due to your OCD can also mean that you are more likely to apply those same rules and behaviors to drug and alcohol use.
These daily obsessions and compulsive actions create what could be classed as almost the perfect storm for allowing addiction problems to take root in your life.
Tackling both problems at the same time
Having looked at ways that someone with OCD might choose to self-medicate it is important to learn what the most effective approach is when it comes to treating OCD and addiction problems.
The key to breaking the addiction cycle is to tackle both disorders at the same time.
One of the ways to go about this two-pronged approach is to look at options such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT).
As this method involves mental health counseling it can allow someone with addiction problems to learn how to cope with the unwanted thoughts that consume their mind and lead to OCD and addiction issues.
There are also some medications that are used for treating OCD symptoms such as Prozac and Anafranil.
Any treatment options and medications need to be discussed with a medical professional so that you can get the right guidance needed to finally break the OCD cycle and take back control of your life.