Between two to three million adults in America suffer from OCD. This makes OCD a fairly common mental health disorder. A study by SAMHSA has also determined that 90% of individuals with OCD also meet the criteria for another behavioral health disorder. This includes other mental health disorders, substance use disorders, and process addictions.
In 2019 a study was conducted on veterans who suffered from OCD to determine how many also suffered from addiction. Roughly 37% had stated that they had a co-occurring addiction. In 2022, a study was conducted regarding OCD and behavioral addictions. This study determined that roughly 70% of those suffering from OCD also had a behavioral addiction. It’s clear that there is a correlation between addiction and OCD.
Addiction and OCD: A Common Dual Diagnosis
Addiction commonly co-occurs with individuals having OCD as they try to self-medicate many of the unwanted symptoms associated with the illness. Suffering from OCD is an exhausting, disruptive experience. Individuals feel trapped by their thoughts, obsessions, and compulsions. These are experiences that affect how they live each and every day.
Self-medicating or engaging in substance abuse will only provide a short time frame of relief. However, when individuals become frustrated enough they may feel that is the only solution. Substance abuse then leads to addiction and it becomes a destructive cycle.
There are ways to find long-term relief from this mental illness, and dual diagnosis treatment has shown to be very effective in minimizing if not eliminating symptoms altogether.