Obsessive compulsive disorder, or OCD is characterized by someone who experiences persistent thoughts triggering anxiety about what are both rational and irrational fears. This persistent worry becomes something the person struggling with the disorder obsesses over and in an effort to try to quell these thoughts, people with OCD develop rituals, or compulsions either consciously or subconsciously.

These rituals are an effort to safeguard the mind against the obsessions or fears that haunt the person. When struggling with obsessive compulsive disorder triggered paranoia, they are compelled to do these rituals in reaction to the obsessions. OCD is a chronic mental health disorder that is often accompanied by a substance use disorder creating a dual diagnosis.

Unfortunately the media portrays OCD as a joke instead of a disease that the person would do Discovery Instituteanything to not suffer from. Like many other mental illnesses the stigma associated with the disease is represented in television characters and movie supporting roles who are meant to be a form of comic relief at best, a raving lunatic, or worse, a murdering villain. As people watch these shows and films they see the character struggling with OCD, and as the character tries to control their space, as they perform these compulsive acts in an effort to calm the recurring anxieties they experience the audience laughs, the other characters laugh. This disease was portrayed in this way on the show The Big Bang Theory.

 

These portrayals weather meant to be funny or demonizing are demonstrably flawed portrayals of the disorder, but even worse they can complicate a person’s ability to reach out for help, and can also cause the person suffering from OCD to reach for drugs or alcohol to help them with the shame that this kind of social stigma can create. Imagine facing the world when the people around you think of you as a joke or worse are afraid of you because of a disease you didn’t choose. If you can imagine it, you can likely imagine why someone dealing with this would reach for something to numb the pain.

 

Dual Diagnosis Treatment at Drug Rehab Centers in NJ

People struggling with a dual diagnosis of OCD and drug or alcohol addiction absolutely must seek treatment immediately and it must be treatment that considers both disorders simultaneously. Each individual person needs to have a treatment program created for them that considers the dual diagnosis but also one that takes into account any personal context all the way from trauma they have experienced in the past right down to any allergies they may have. At Discovery Institute in New Jersey we believe that a person must be treated holistically and that treatment must be individualized. Call us today to see how we can help you find relief from both substance use disorder and OCD.

Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by Dr. Jeffrey Berman, MD

Dr. Jeffrey Berman, MDDr. Jeffrey Berman is a psychiatrist in Teaneck, New Jersey and is affiliated with Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. He received his medical degree from State University of New York Upstate Medical University and has been in practice for more than 20 years. He also speaks multiple languages, including French and Hebrew.

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