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Home » Mental Healthcare » What We Treat » Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) affects around 1% of the population in America. It involves recurrent actions or thoughts that are unwanted. These obsessive-compulsive compulsive thoughts take up one's time and energy. Someone suffering from OCD will find it hard to keep a healthy daily routine while managing these distractions.
Similar to many anxiety disorders and depression, drug and alcohol addiction will coexist with OCD. This pairing can lead to disastrous mental and physical damage. It is important in these types of dual diagnosis situations of OCD and drug addiction, to get proper treatment for both disorders.
Due to the mental and emotional pain OCD inflicts on its sufferers, some can end up self-medicating with drugs and alcohol. Many movies and television shows tend to portray OCD sufferers as nervous, hyper-organized but generally overall healthy. This is however not the case in real life,OCD tends to disrupt people’s homes, family lives, and work.
Coping with OCD obsessions can be tiring. Many find that self-medicating with drugs provides a short relief. This often leads to repeated abuse when these thoughts and urges arise. If this continues for a while, alcohol and drug abuse can take shape.
The most successful way to beat co-occurring addiction and OCD is treating them both at the same time. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is effective in treating both drug addiction and OCD. It is a mental health form of counseling that teaches people with OCD to cope with their unwanted feelings and thoughts that lead to drug abuse.
Antidepressant medication is also used to treat OCD symptoms. It is important to keep in mind that addiction is a mental illness. OCD’s symptoms can be treated with medication, however, overcoming addiction will need constant attention to avoid relapse.
In some situations, OCD goes underdiagnosed and undertreated even though it is a relatively common illness. This is a result of barriers to success in Cognitive Behavior Therapy. Some of these reasons are;
Medication is an effective way to treat OCD. To work, they must be taken regularly and as directed by the doctor. Research has shown that a type of drug called a serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SRI) is effective in addressing OCD symptoms.
The following antidepressants have been noted to work well in relieving OCD symptoms:
These medications work by boosting the hormone in the brain called serotonin.This is a key mood stabilizer that also helps with proper sleep patterns. Low levels of Serotonin may lead to depression and anxiety.
There might be side effects experienced while taking these kinds of drugs. These side effects can be managed by adjusting the dose or changing what time the drug is taken.
A few intensive residential programs have been developed such as Intensive outpatient and residential treatment programs which focus on interdisciplinary care. This incorporates the joint expertise of health care professionals such as doctors, nurses, social workers and occupational therapists to actualize individualized treatment plans that aim at managing OCD symptoms that are difficult to treat using standard therapies
When OCD patients do not benefit from cognitive behavioral therapy, medication or a combination of the two, Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) has emerged as a new option for OCD treatment. TMS is a non-invasive procedure that stimulates the brain using magnetic fields.
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On average, people are usually diagnosed with OCD in their late teens, around 19 years old. It is quite a draining mental condition that makes one feel like their brain is “stuck” on the same thoughts, urges, and images. These obsessive thoughts can lead to repetitive actions or compulsions that temporarily seem to ease the agony. Living with OCD can make you emotionally overwhelmed and physically tired. However, understanding how obsessive-compulsive disorder negatively impacts the brain can go the mile in helping you better manage the condition and make its treatment more effective. Individuals who suffer from OCD are also at an increased risk of developing an addiction.
OCD is a treatable disease that should not be associated with trauma. Anyone suffering from OCD can contact us for treatment and support. You are not alone, call us today. Our professional team will work with you on the best treatment plan possible.
Dr. Bickley graduated from U.C. Irvine with honors: Phi Beta Kappa, Golden Key International Honor Society, Cum Laude. He has been featured on national radio and print media. He is also a frequent lecturer at National Conferences. He holds an A.S. degree in Drug & Alcohol Studies, and two B.A. degrees in Criminology & Psychology, and masters and doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology. He is a licensed California Drug & Alcohol Counselor Level II, a licensed Clinical Supervisor and is certified in treating Eating Disorders.
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