You may think you know about OCD from what you watch on television, but you may be surprised at what you do not know.

For instance, OCD is a broad umbrella; there are several subsets under that umbrella. Regardless of the subgroup, all OCD is treated the same way: exposure and response prevention therapy.

A few common subsets

We will discuss a few of the common subsets here.

Harm OCD

The people who have “harm” OCD are unable to quiet the violent thoughts that just about everyone has experienced at some point. Not being able to quiet those violent thoughts disturbs them to the point of becoming overwhelmed.

For example, someone with harm OCD may refuse to stand near train tracks because their violent thoughts maybe “I could jump in front of the train that is coming,” or they may keep all their knives hidden because they think, “I could stab my spouse.”

Contamination OCD

People with contamination OCD constantly obsess over germs, viruses, and other sicknesses that they may catch and give to loved ones.

For instance, they may think, “this time I’ve really caught something deadly like aids,” so they will constantly wash their hands and surfaces around the home and then sanitize their hands and those surfaces. They also obsess about certain places being full of bacteria, viruses, and other germs, such as doctors’ offices, hospitals, or even office buildings. So they won’t go out in public, visit the doctor or hospital, or be around kids.

Just right OCD

This subset is probably the most known. People who suffer from this subset often feel that something just isn’t right. This feeling causes them to continually check things like doors and windows, keep things in a specific order and place. And if it is not in that particular order or area, they will reorganize it to the way they feel it should be; for instance, a napkin must be beside a plate in a particular way; if not, they will reset the whole table.

OCD and substance abuse

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder can cause extreme anxiety, depression, and many other feelings that, on top of the OCD, can cause the patient to try to self-medicate with alcohol or illicit drugs.

When the patient ends up unable to control the substance abuse and the OCD, it becomes a dual diagnosis situation with co-occurring mental illness and addiction. Treating the addiction without treating the underlying mental health condition will cause relapse. Treating the mental health condition and not the addiction can leave the patient vulnerable and uncontrollable.

It is always best to treat both at the same time. 449 Recovery treats co-occurring conditions in a whole person approach with the proper therapies and medications.

If you or a loved one suffers from OCD and substance abuse, contact us today to learn more about the therapies we use and the insurance and payment forms we accept.