Addiction is a broad affliction with many subsets.
Sometimes, addiction can manifest in other disorders, such as OCD, PTSD and SAD.
OCD and addiction
Obsessive-compulsive disorder, or OCD, is an anxiety disorder that prompts recurring thoughts that cause irrational fears.
One of the most common examples of OCD is handwashing.
A person with OCD may compulsively ceremonially wash their hands.
Afterwards, they may receive a short-term boost in dopamine.
However, this quickly wears off, and the urge to handwash reoccurs.
In many ways, the addictive nature of OCD parallels drug and alcohol addiction; over time, the brain becomes reliant on the dopamine released by fulfilling obsessive behaviours, gradually becoming addicted.
The stress of a professional environment can sometimes exacerbate these symptoms, whilst the disorder itself can negatively impact a person’s career.
PTSD and addiction
Traumatic events can cause many psychological complications.
These include depression, anxiety, agitation and stress.
Whilst most of these symptoms typically subside over time, PTSD tends to be much more persistent, lasting decades after the inciting event.
Some potential causes of PTSD include:
- Military combat
- Serious accidents
- Natural disasters
SAD and addiction
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) triggers extreme negative emotion during certain times of the year.
Whilst it is normal to feel a bit down when winter rolls around, SAD sufferers experience an extreme dip in serotonin.
This chemical imbalance can leave people feeling lethargic, depressed or even suicidal.
SAD typically occurs in people who already suffer from some depression.
SAD is also divided into two categories. These are summer SAD and winter SAD.
Some symptoms of each include:
- Lack of appetite
- Oversleeping and low energy
- Weight loss
OCD/PTSD/SAD and drug addiction
It is common for suffers from OCD, PTSD and SAD to fall into drug and alcohol addiction.
Estimates suggest that up to 75% of people living with PTSD report some degree of alcohol disorder, whilst around 20% of OCD sufferers engage in some form of substance abuse.
What treatment is available?
These include increasing social activity and avoiding the addictive substance as much as possible.
However, when OCD, PTSD and SAD are part of what drives the addiction in question, it is often advisable to seek professional help.
As always, it is worth arranging an appointment with your local GP, as everyone is different, and addiction is easily misdiagnosed.
From here, you may decide to pursue professional treatment.
This allows sufferers to identify what is triggering the addictive tendencies and to change their habits for the better.
Castle Craig Hospital is the UK’s leading addiction recovery rehab, specialising in helping professionals to navigate a pathway out of addiction.
If you feel like private rehab is the route, click here for more information on Castle Craig Hospital’s treatment programme.
- Do I need to go to rehab?
- What will the experience at a rehab centre be like?
- The differences between NHS rehab and private rehab
- Funding private rehab treatment