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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and The Tragedy of Mental Health of Stigma

Dr. Jeffrey Berman, MD By October 16, 2018

Obsessive compulsive disorder, or OCD is a mental illness that often shows itself in people suffering from the disorder with thoughts that haunt their minds constantly. These thoughts cause the person suffering to experience intense and debilitating anxiety and fears that cause deep and pervasive suffering. Those recurring fears become obsessions in their minds, constantly on a conveyor belt of thoughts running through their minds so that they are rarely if ever free from their worries. Most people who deal with the disorder deal with both rational and irrational anxieties. They may develop the disorder due to trauma. In this case, often, their obsessions may seem irrational to someone else, but be completely reasonable given their experiences. However there are times when someone suffers from irrational fears and in these cases the afflicted person likely even knows the fears are irrational, however due to the disease, be unable to shake their fears.  

These obsessions are a fact of life for a patient stricken with obsessive compulsive disorder. The natural flow of the disease goes first obsessions, and then compulsions. OCD patients develop compulsions whether consciously or subconsciously, in order to neutralize the active anxiety and the panic that constantly feels like it is gaining on them. The compulsions become something like rituals done to keep their demons at bay. These compulsions are survival mechanisms and a person with OCD that does not get help needs them to survive. The only way to heal from OCD is to get proper treatment. Without that many people with OCD develop alcohol or drug addictions. There are several reasons people don’t get the treatment they need. They may think they cannot afford treatment. Maybe they don’t know where to seek treatment, or what questions to ask. People who are in this position can call Discovery Institute for insight in what programs might work for their individual and unique needs. They can explain

 

Is Stigma The Reason People Suffering From OCD Do Not Seek Drug Rehab in New Jersey?

Discovery InstituteThe media has a tendency to portray people who suffer from obsessive compulsive disorder as a comedy bit or as a villain. Like other mental illnesses the stigma surrounding the the disorder causes it to be represented in t.v. characters and movie roles that are meant to be a form of comic relief. As people who are less educated about these mental illnesses watch these programs and films they see the person suffering with obsessive compulsive disorder as an other, as someone different from them and that is largely because that is the way the character is portrayed. As the character struggles to control their lives by being obsessive about how their space is laid out or the character performs their various, seemingly irrational habits in an effort to calm their torturous anxieties, the audience laughs. If OCD is not portrayed as a joke, OCD might be woven into a story by being a disorder that the villain is afflicted by.  

 

Not only does this not give an accurate picture of what a person suffering from obsessive compulsive disorder goes through, but it is also not at all the accurate symptoms that come along with OCD. This sort of damaging picture of someone who is suffering from OCD, a portrayal that is so prevalent in our modern day society, makes it difficult for a person who is in real life struggling with dealing with obsessive compulsive disorder. This stigma is likely one of the major factors for the very low numbers of people who suffer from OCD and other mental health disorders who seek treatment.  Without treatment it is very easy for someone suffering from OCD to develop a dual diagnosis, a drug or alcohol addiction.

 

Discovery Institute is one of the top rated drug rehab centers in NJ. If you are suffering from a dual diagnosis you can feel confident in Discovery Institute’s commitment to providing holistic and individualized care focused on the needs and struggles of each unique patient. Call today to learn more.

 

Article Reviewed 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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