Are alcoholism and OCD related? It’s a common question, and the short answer is yes, in many ways not just alcoholism but addiction in general has been shown to have some relationship with obsessive-compulsive disorder or OCD. We’ll talk about what OCD is, and some of the ways there are relationships between this mental disorder and addiction, including alcoholism.
You’ve probably heard people joke around and say they’re OCD when it comes to everything from avoiding germs to keeping their house a certain way, but OCD is actually a diagnosable mental health disorder that goes beyond liking things clean or orderly. With alcoholism, there are often underlying co-occurring mental health disorders a person suffers from, and OCD and alcoholism are just one example of this. more
Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) affects millions of people from all walks of life. According to the NIMH, OCD affected 1.2% of adults in the U.S. in the past year. It currently affects approximately 1 in 40 adults and 1 in 100 children in the U.S. People with OCD experiences obsessions and compulsions. Obsessions are intrusive and unwanted thoughts, images, or urge that cause distress or anxiety. Compulsions are behaviors that the person feels compelled to perform in order to ease their distress or anxiety or suppress the thoughts. Some of these behaviors are visible actions while others are mental behaviors. Common obsessions include concerns about contamination, cleanliness, aggressive impulses, or the need for symmetry. Common compulsions include checking, washing/cleaning, and arranging. There isn’t always a logical connection between obsessions and compulsions. Often people with OCD experiences a variety of obsessions and compulsions. more
OCD stands for obsessive-compulsive disorder, and it affects over 2 million men and women in the U.S. alone. While there does appear to be a genetic component to OCD, sometimes it occurs in the absence of a clear genetic history of the disorder.
In people with OCD, ritualized behaviors and intrusive thoughts interfere with daily activities. Ritualized activities may include hand-washing, cleaning, or checking that the stove is off repeatedly. Obsessions are intrusive thoughts that seem to play in a never-ending loop in the brain, and they are typically unpleasant thoughts that produce anxiety.
Unfortunately, people often make light of OCD by comparing, for example, their neatness with the disorder. However, OCD causes very real suffering. People with OCD are aware that their behaviors and fears are unreasonable, yet they still cannot control their need to perform them and do not experience the relief that normally comes with doing them. OCD and drug addiction frequently occur together. The compulsions of OCD and the compulsions of addictive behavior have many similarities. more
Obsessive-compulsive disorder, or OCD, is an anxiety disorder in which an individual experiences recurring thoughts that cause irrational fears and anxiety. Individuals with OCD engage in repeated, compulsive rituals, such as counting items, hand washing and organizing. Executing these rituals provides temporary relief while they are being performed, but the anxiety returns soon after they stop. OCD is a highly destructive disorder that can overtake the life of an individual and keep him from enjoying many life’s most rewarding activities.
The Journal of Anxiety Disorders estimates that over 25 percent of those who seek treatment for OCD also meet the criteria for a substance use disorder. Individuals who experience OCD symptoms for the first time in childhood or adolescence are more likely to develop a drug or alcohol problem, often as a way to cope with overwhelming anxiety and fear. Treating an addictive disorder without addressing the emotional symptoms of OCD is unlikely to be effective. more
Having obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) isn’t easy. The condition, marked by uncontrollable thoughts and behaviors, strikes about 2% of the general population—a figure that in the U.S. alone means nearly 6.5 million people. If you’ve made it past young adulthood without developing any symptoms, you’re likely in the clear.
You wouldn’t know that to hear people talk, however. In recent years, OCD has become the psychological equivalent of hypoglycemia or gluten sensitivity: a condition untold numbers of people casually—almost flippantly—claim they’ve got, but in most cases don’t. Folks who hate a messy desk but could live with one for a day do not necessarily have OCD. Nor do those who wash their hands before eating but would still have lunch if there was no soap and water nearby. Yet the almost sing-songy declaration “I’m so OCD!” seems to be everywhere. more
Complex computer modeling demonstrates that obsessive-compulsive disorder patients learn about their environments but don’t use that information to guide their actions
About 10 years ago David Adam scratched his finger on a barbed wire fence. The cut was shallow, but drew blood. As a science journalist and author of The Man Who Couldn’t Stop: OCD and the True Story of a Life Lost in Thought, a book about his own struggles with obsessive-compulsive disorder, Adam had a good idea of what was in store. His OCD involved an obsessive fear of contracting HIV and produced a set of compulsive behaviors revolving around blood.
In this instance he hurried home to get some tissue and returned to check there was not already any blood on the barbed-wire. “I looked and saw there was no blood on the tissue, looked underneath the fence, saw there was no blood, turned to walk away, and had to do it all again, and again and again,” he says. “You get stuck in this horrific cycle, where all the evidence you use to form judgments in everyday life tells you there’s no blood. And if anyone asked, you’d say ‘no.’ Yet, when you ask yourself, you say ‘maybe.’” more
Obsessive-compulsive disorder is a mental disorder whose main symptoms include obsessions and compulsions, driving the person to engage in unwanted, oftentimes distress behaviors or thoughts. It is treated through a combination of psychiatric medications and psychotherapy.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder characterized by recurrent and disturbing thoughts (called obsessions) and/or repetitive, ritualized behaviors that the person feels driven to perform (called compulsions). Obsessions can also take the form of intrusive images or unwanted impulses. The majority of people with OCD have both obsessions and compulsions, but a minority (about 20 percent) have obsessions alone or compulsions alone (about 10 percent). more