Tag Archives: Sobriety And OCD

How Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Affects Ativan Addiction

How Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Affects Ativan Addiction

Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder characterized by unreasonable thoughts and fears (obsessions) that lead people to do repetitive behaviors (compulsions). Individuals with OCD are often aware that their obsessions are irrational, so they may try to stop these behaviors or ignore them. Unfortunately, these efforts often make anxiety and distress even more acute. Ultimately, they seek relief by performing compulsive acts in an effort to relieve stressful feelings or thoughts. Obsessions typically center around themes, such as the following examples:

  • Fear of contamination or dirt
  • Having things orderly and symmetrical
  • Aggressive or horrific impulses
  • Sexual images or thoughts

Symptoms may include the following problems:

  • Fear of being contaminated by shaking hands or by touching objects others have touched
  • Doubts that you’ve locked the door or turned off the stove
  • Thoughts that you’ve hurt someone in a traffic accident
  • Intense stress when objects aren’t orderly or facing the right way
  • Images of hurting your child
  • Impulses to shout obscenities in inappropriate situations
  • Avoidance of situations that can trigger obsessions, such as shaking hands
  • Replaying pornographic images in your mind
  • Dermatitis because of frequent hand washing
  • Skin lesions because of picking at your skin
  • Hair loss or bald spots because of hair pulling

A person who suffers from both an Ativan addiction and OCD has co-occurring conditions, or a Dual Diagnosis. Although overcoming substance abuse is more difficult when psychiatric problems complicate the process, recovery from both conditions is possible with professional help.

Mental Illness and Addiction

Over 50% of Americans with addictions also have at least one significant mental illness. Other important statistics include the following examples:

  • More than 35% of alcoholics or individuals with an alcohol-related┬ásubstance abuse┬áproblem have at least one mental illness
  • Almost a third of all individuals with a mental illness also have a substance abuse problem
  • Over 20% of inmates currently incarcerated in the US prison system have co-occurring disorders
  • People with a Dual Diagnosis commit suicide at a rate much higher than those with just an addiction or mental illness alone

Diagnosing a substance abuse problem and a co-occurring mental health disorder can be difficult because the two conditions share the following characteristics:

  • Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness
  • Loss of interest in daily activities
  • Inability to experience pleasure
  • Sleep changes
  • Strong feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • Concentration problems
  • Excessive tension and worry

Denial further complicates the issue. Individuals who struggle with substance abuse often refuse to acknowledge the presence or consequences of addiction. In the same way, people with mental disorders often ignore their symptoms and hope they will go away. However, avoiding treatment makes both conditions worse. If a psychiatric condition worsens, chances of relapse escalate; if an addiction flares, a psychiatric condition often deteriorates. To recover, both conditions must be treated, most always with professional help.

Multiple studies have shown that psychiatric treatments are more effective in people who are not actively abusing drugs or alcohol. Furthermore, individuals who treat both conditions under the care of trained professionals are more likely to maintain recovery than people who treat only one condition at a time. The sooner an addict seeks help, the better her chances are for recovering.

Help for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Ativan Addiction

If you or someone you love struggles with OCD and Ativan addiction, you are not alone. Admissions coordinators at our toll-free, 24 hour helpline can guide you to wellness. You never have to go back to a life of addiction, so please call us today.