OCD with Dual Diagnosis Of Addiction By Afreen Naseem

Feb 10


Dr Sadaqat Ali

Dr Sadaqat Ali

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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder symptoms characterize by an unwanted, recurrent thoughts or images and actions that disturb person’s mental state. Thoughts and actions take up time and energy when obsession interferes in thinking process of obsessive person. To maintain healthy living is difficult for the sufferers because an intrusive thoughts and impulses distract him.


When an obsessive thoughts control someone thinking process,OCD with Dual Diagnosis Of Addiction By Afreen Naseem Articles it drain out the ability to use will power appropriately and sense of pleasure to feel environment. Individual mind becomes trap in repetitive thoughts, images or words so he doesn’t respond to people and events. Individual with the diagnosis of obsessive compulsive disorder shows little interest in conversation, his reoccurring thoughts force him to engage in compulsive acts in order to overcome anxious state.

The influence of obsessive thoughts may vary, as some are mild in intensity and person is able to distract and engage in an activity. On the other hand, these fixated thoughts are extreme in a level that individual feels unable to control. Obsessions frequently occur with compulsive behaviors which are beyond conscious awareness and seldom come up with logical reasoning.   

A mental state of a person can possesses by obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors. These obsessions induce unremitting worry, flight of the imagination and seek out for answers of disturbing thoughts. The productivity of person’s intellect may lose, his sleep pattern become disturbs and even he feels lack of satisfaction in life. People with obsession can repeat rituals such as, check lock of door knobs, washing hands, prayers, taking bath, wash or change clothes and so on. Feeling of sense of oneself and ability to resolve problems analytically may affected badly when person get fixate to any particular thinking or behavior. Obsession and compulsion typically arises by fear or phobias. Fear of being contaminated, concern for orderliness, self harming behavior lead by aggressive thoughts and unwanted thoughts including anger, sexual or religious are the typical themes of obsession.

Obsessions In OCD

The sufferer feels great anxiety and disturbance because of undue obsessions that occur in frequent and forceful images, urges or thoughts. To overcome the anxiety or distress cause by obsession, individual perform another action as to feel better after doing so. This is called Compulsion or Compulsive Behaviors. These obsessive thoughts create distress in person’s life and he becomes apart from friends and family. Individual feels difficulty in making new relationships once he caged in obsessions and compulsion. Depression and self medicating with drugs or alcohol can severe the condition of the sufferer.

Common obsessions include:

  • Fear of being contaminated from germs, viruses, bacteria or “getting ill”
  • Good and Bad numbers obsession.
  • Thoughts of self harm and harming others.
  • Fixation with irreligious or offensive thoughts about God or noble personalities.
  • Upsetting images of sexual content.
  • Apprehension of losing loved one through injury or illness.

 Compulsions In OCD

Individual who diagnosed with OCD tries to prevent from unwanted thoughts and urges by doing mental rituals and repetitive actions. Person tries to get rid of frequent and recurrent thoughts thorough performing of specific actions but they have no connection in reality. People with OCD feel themselves bound to act upon these rituals despite the logic in doing. 

Common compulsions include:

  • Unnecessary hands, clothes washing and cleaning
  • Rechecking things like light switches, appliances and door knobs
  • Mental acts like counting, repeating words, or tapping desk or floor  to relieve anxiety
  • Unwarranted praying out of religious fear
  • Repetitively “checking in” on loved ones’ safety
  • Collecting useless items or trash

 The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) documented obsessive thoughts and compulsive rituals as time-consuming, individual feels stuck to engage in illogical activity. Individual feels unable to perform daily routine activities. For example, individual can be late at work when any intrusive thoughts disturb his mind and as to get relief from anxiety he might spend more than an hour in washing hands. Drug addiction can take root after the stress causing obsessive thoughts and compulsive actions that make person life even more worst.

Addictions and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Those who suffers from the mental and emotional pain after having Obsessive Compulsive Disorder often tries to release tension by self medicating with alcohol and drugs. According to the US National Library of medicine, more than one quarter patients affect from Substance use disorder who already seek treatment for Obsessive compulsive disorder.

It often show in movies and television programs that individual with OCD have some mild anxiety otherwise they are healthy but this misleading from actual fact. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is severe mental illness which disturb individual’s all areas of functioning.

When someone involves in addiction a certain level of obsessive thoughts and compulsive rituals are present to the specific addictive behavior. For example, individual with the diagnosis of substance use disorders usually preoccupied with particular drug of addiction. Also, their recurrent negative thought and images of substance addiction force them to use the drug regardless of the consequence that always comes up with negative results. Correspondingly, illnesses such as, Eating disorder, Pathological Gambling, and Sexual Compulsivity bound an individual to perform compulsive acts for the mental preoccupation of their specific addictive behaviors.

The origin of obsession and compulsion in an Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Substance Use Disorder is considerably different in both disorders. In Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, obsessions are disturbing thoughts, images and urges that are basis of an anxiety provoking stimulus, fear or phobias. Individual performs compulsive actions to somewhat release from distress for the time being but not for seeking pleasure by doing so. On the other side, obsessions and compulsion involves in Substance Use Disorder is grown up in quest of seeking delight and pleasure from specific drug or alcohol. Obsessions that leads to addictive themes are typically focus on joyful memories and desire of gratifying experience after using substance. Likewise, addict perform compulsive behaviors for getting pleasure when recurrent thought or images of particular drug comes in his mind. 

Individual diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, may have a tendency to begin addiction after frequent use of any particular drug or substance or perform addictive compulsion to cope with his anxiety. Indeed, those who involve in obsession or compulsion are at risk to develop addiction. Person with obsessive- compulsive traits, if involve in preoccupation of body image and food related anxiety have a tendency to develop an Eating Disorder. 

A primary diagnosis is necessary for the treatment if an addictive disorder also arise with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Treatment of both co-occurring disorders is important once the disorder is full blown appear. The dual diagnoses, both the Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and the co-occurring addiction or Eating Disorder require being taking care of equally to assure a fully successful recovery.

Social Isolation in OCD and Addiction

Individual having Obsessive Compulsive Disorder isolates from social settings that persuade him to use substance abuse and addiction. Sufferers of this disorder often have understanding that these recurrent thoughts or images and rituals don’t have logical connection but they feel so helpless to do so. Sufferers of OCD and Addictive disorder also feel shame when they perform rituals after an awful thinking.

Similar to the drug addiction, people who face the problem of obsessive thoughts and compulsive acts detached themselves from outside world, they feel satisfy to live alone rather than to mingle with people around them. They hide themselves from others in order to keep their unacceptable recurrent thoughts and compulsive rituals. Drug or alcohol use develops when they socially isolate and living alone, they don’t want to make change in their lifestyle

Treatment Of Dually Diagnosed Ocd And Addiction

It is important to treating co-occurring OCD and Addiction at the same time, if anyone is neglect or treated partially will make individual mental and physical health worst. An effective treatment can be cure dually diagnosed disorders, psychiatric medications and psychotherapy like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is essential to be considered. OCD and Addiction sufferer can learn the ways to cope with intrusive thoughts or images that leads to compulsive acts of using drugs or washing hands. In that case Antidepressant medications are also effective to treat OCD symptoms.

An important aspect regarding addiction is that it’s a chronic illness which demands continuous attention to keep away from relapse. However, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder can be cure from psychiatric medications and psychotherapy.