3 Tips for Managing Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Individuals with behavioral health issues often struggle with substance abuse at the same time (this is known as having a dual diagnosis). Without the right treatment for both issues, they’re more likely to turn to drugs or alcohol as a coping mechanism.

Individuals with co-occurring disorders face a variety of challenges. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is one of the most common mental health disorders. In fact, the Journal of Anxiety Disorders estimates that over 25 percent of those who seek treatment for a chemical addiction also meet the criteria for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

OCD Quick Facts:

  • 1 in 40 adults will experience the symptoms of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Individuals with OCD often experience uncomfortable, intrusive thoughts or images
  • The most common symptoms are related to compulsive checking (15.4%), hoarding (14.4%) or ordering (9.1%)
  • According to the World Health Organization (WHO), anxiety disorders, like OCD, are more common in developed countries like the United States
  • OCD is highly treatable and many people respond positively with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and/or prescription medications
  • Individuals with an OCD diagnosis are more likely to report experiencing one or more traumas during childhood

OCD Treatment: Strategies You Can Use

While the symptoms of OCD may vary, many individuals commonly experience recurring and disturbing mental images and/or a fear of contamination. If you feel that you or a loved one may need help for a dual diagnosis that includes OCD, it’s important to get help from an experienced team of professionals. They can help develop a personalized plan of care designed to address your specific symptoms and medical condition.

In addition to that, they may recommend some tools that you can use on your own to manage the symptoms of OCD. Here are just a few of the most common strategies to manage OCD at home.

(1) Make self-care a priority. Make time on your calendar to exercise regularly. It can dramatically influence how you feel. Schedule time during the week to take a walk, ride your bike or go sweat it out at the gym. You’ll likely feel more centered and empowered as a result.

(2) Carve out time for friends and family members. One common symptom of OCD is isolation. Though, isolating yourself from others can exaggerate your symptoms. To help avoid falling into a destructive cycle, make plans throughout the week for social activities. Go to a yoga class with a coworker after work or visit a new art gallery with a friend.

(3) Create a relaxation toolbox. For those with OCD, developing and practicing stress management techniques can help. Talk to your therapist about meditation practices and other relaxation techniques. They can likely help recommend deep breathing exercises and other strategies to help you stay calm.

Dual-Diagnosis Treatment at Infinity Malibu

With clinical training in abnormal psychology and psychopathology, the team at our Los Angeles Area rehabs offer evidence-based treatment for clients facing substance abuse and co-occurring behavioral problems. During your stay at Infinity’s Agoura Hills, Malibu or Tarzana homes, you will partner with a lead therapist and designated case manager to tailor treatment to your health history. To begin a dual-diagnosis evaluation for yourself or a loved one, call an Infinity Malibu’ specialist today: (888) 266-9048.

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