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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) Message Board

OCD and Addiction: The same or not?

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Old 08-04-2004, 08:48 PM   #1
Uncle Bill
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 5
Uncle Bill HB User
Exclamation OCD and Addiction: The same or not?

I am curious to know just how many people here believe that OCD is basically the same thing as an addiction that one might have like drugs, alcohol, gambling, etc.?

How many believe that OCD is another symptom of the underlining disease of addiction?

I suffer from both so I know what it is like to be plagued both problems. They both revolve around an obsessions that leads to a compulsion. A person affected by OCD, for example, might obsess about their hands not being clean enough so they act on that obsessive thinking and wash their hands. This brings temporary relief and ease to the person. But, as always, the relief subsides and the anxiety creeps back making that person feel the need to act on the obsession again. This repeated obsessional thinking process is how a persons mind works when they suffer from OCD.

A person affected by a drug addiction will constantly obsess about their drug of choice which brings on the compulsion to use the drug. This brings relief and ease to the person much like the obsessive hand wash feels after he/she cleans their hands. They both have a brief feeling of 'wholeness' or a peace of mind that makes them feel that, for a moment, they have everything in their life under control. But just like the obsessive hand washer the drug addicts anxiety will slowly build back up and bring on the obsessional feelings of the 'need to act out' again to ease the mind. This obsessive and compulsive behavior will always repeat itself again and again.

Thoses who suffer from OCD knows that until their 'rituals' are completed then they will never feel at peace. Some people cannot do anything until their rituals are done first. They feel that their life is all scrambled up and that they have no control of it. What little control that they feel they have is through their rituals. For some its the only thing that brings some sanity in their lives.

For drug addicts their sanity comes from using their drug of choice. Without their drug they feel that everything is unmanageable, out of control. Using their drug brings a feeling of control and peace.

OCD, gambling, drug addiction, food addiction, etc., etc. all bring on two different feeling in a person: a feeling of relief and a feeling of control.

I could go on and on about how the two are just the same but I would like to hear from some others about how they see OCD and addiction. Especially thoses who disagree with my view.

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Old 08-04-2004, 09:23 PM   #2
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Join Date: Mar 2004
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girl3900 HB User
Re: OCD and Addiction: The same or not?

I read about this before and doctors seperated 'normal' ocd from addictions in that addictions brings the person some sort of pleasure whereas the ocd does not. I think food/drug addicts, gamblers, etc may feel guilty when they're giving in to their obsession but as they're carrying it out, there's an element of pleasure. Surely someone who is stuck in the bathroom washing their hands 100's of times is not feeling the same.

Old 08-07-2004, 12:41 PM   #3
Uncle Bill
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 5
Uncle Bill HB User
Re: OCD and Addiction: The same or not?

In order to be addicted to something or to have an impending need to wash your hands over and over there must have been at some point in time when a pleasurable feeling was felt from the act. Perhaps this feeling is felt only in the subconscious mind. Sometimes I do things that I do not understand. For example, I pick at tiny bumps on my skin that no one else would see. I sometime pick until I create a big sore and for the life of me I cannot figure out why in the hell I still do it. I sometime hate myself when I pick but something always brings me back to the mirror to check for more bumps. I tend to think that in my subconscious mind I get some kind of sick pleasure. That maybe a long, long time ago I maybe pick at a pimple and something registered in my subconscious mind. Who knows.

As for my OCD, I am a clean freak so I feel like I must keep my personal belonging clean and neat. And yes I do get a big relief, or some pleasure when my 'rituals' are completed.

As for feeling pleasure when taking drugs or when gambling, I can almost say that I get very little pleasure out of them anymore. I take drugs to feels normal and to cope, not for strictly pleasure.

Old 10-21-2004, 08:52 AM   #4
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 633
openseason HB User
Re: OCD and Addiction: The same or not?

An addiction to drugs or gambling can be result of an undelying mental problem such as OCD, but they are not the same

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