Struggling with a mental health condition is difficult, but when these issues are compounded by substance abuse, the challenges can be even more difficult for one to overcome. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is one mental health challenge that increases the risk of addiction in an individual if either issue goes unaddressed.

Why OCD Increases Risk of Addiction

OCD is defined as a type of anxiety that may lead to many types of atypical behaviors in an individual. For instance, those who have OCD may experience irrational fears, engage in repetitive actions or remain focused on details that make it much harder to concentrate on health. Depending on the severity of the issue, a patient experiencing OCD may turn to substance abuse as a way to momentarily quell the symptoms associated with the condition.

Although alcohol and drugs can relieve OCD symptoms, these substances are still harmful for the body. As an individual grows used to self-medicating to deal with the anxiety, he or she may increase tolerance to a substance of choice. As a result, an individual will fall deeper and deeper into addiction, leaving the underlying root of OCD unattended.

Those who do seek treatment for OCD may still be at risk of developing an addiction. For instance, those who use anti-anxiety, sleep aids or other medications as a way to treat these symptoms—even if legally prescribed—may develop a dependency.

How Dual Diagnosis Treatment Can Help with OCD and Addiction

If you are diagnosed with OCD and taking medications that carry a risk for addiction, it is always important to discuss these concerns with a medical professional. Keeping an open dialogue with a physician and therapist about these worries can prevent addiction from occurring and allow a patient to thoroughly care for the mental health challenge at hand.

However, in instances where an individual is confronted with addiction and OCD, dual diagnosis treatment can be a great way to examine every problem that needs to be resolved in order to establish both physical and mental health. Dual diagnosis treatment is an intensive modality that employs addiction recovery in addition to mental health treatment. Working with this type of therapy can prevent an individual from treating only half of the problem.

Individuals who seek help for addiction without addressing underlying mental health conditions may leave rehabilitation with greater risk of relapse. For instance, while a person may have established sobriety, he or she may still feel conflicted by the symptoms that encouraged them to use in the first place.

As Americans continue to become more open about mental health and addiction awareness, dual diagnosis treatment has increased in popularity and allowed individuals to gain better treatment for both issues. If you or a loved one is interested in how a dual diagnosis addiction recovery approach can help establish sobriety and whole health, Chapters Capistrano offers comprehensive, flexible treatment options.

To learn more about our inviting atmosphere, trusted staff and dual diagnosis programs, contact us today at 949-276-2886.

Medical disclaimer:

Chapters Capistrano strives to help people who are facing substance abuse, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions. It does this by providing compassionate care and evidence-based content that addresses health, treatment, and recovery.

Licensed medical professionals review material we publish on our site. The material is not a substitute for qualified medical diagnoses, treatment, or advice. It should not be used to replace the suggestions of your personal physician or other health care professionals.

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