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Alcoholism and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Discussion in 'Dual-Diagnosis Treatment' started by romananthonysmama, Feb 1, 2015.

  1. romananthonysmama

    romananthonysmama Active Contributor

    Obsessive Compulsive Disorder runs rampant in my family on both sides. People in our family have had it for so long, that back when they started to show symptoms, they weren't even aware of what Obsessive Compulsive Disorder was yet. Another disease that runs rampant in our family, is alcoholism.

    I come from an Irish Catholic family, and our family doesn't really talk to each other about medical issues, especially ones surrounding mental illness and addiction. It's sort of viewed as weak, which is extremely sad. I think we could all benefit from talking to each other more so that we could all relate and help one another.

    Anywho, I think a lot of the reasoning behind alcoholism being so prevalent, is because it's a way to self-medicate the OCD symptoms that people are experiencing. I've always stayed away from alcohol because I knew I had a predisposition for becoming an alcoholic.
    amethyst and kana_marie like this.
  2. Christian

    Christian DrugAbuse.com Community Organizer Community Listener

    Im sorry that both OCD and alcoholism run in your family. It's true that drinking can be a way to self medicate from many issues like OCD. Yet as I'm sure you already know it compounds the problem and things only get worse. Yet because of the social acceptability of drinking, it makes it easy to slip into alcoholic tendencies as a way of medicating the underlying issues. The old school mentality of just sucking it up, or not talking about it because of a stigma within the family is something I can relate to and there in lies the problem. You have to get to a point where you can start some form of dialogue within the family and be able to be honest with how your feeling so you have a point where you can begin to get better from. Some form of counseling would definitely help but getting everyone to participate is going to be the biggest challenge.
  3. stellaluna

    stellaluna Member

    I can relate to you in that my family also views mental health and substance abuse issues as "private" and that they should be "swept under the rug." Sadly, this is of no help to anyone. When I began struggling with first mental health, then substance abuse, I began digging deeper and challenging my families secrecy. Afterall, it wasn't just me, I had many cousins going through the same challenges. I found out that both MH and SA issues were very prevalent for generations in my family.

    Recently, the scientific community is discovering more and more about the similarities between mental health disorders and substance abuse disorders. In my family there is OCD, ADD, anxiety, depression, bipolar, and several personality disorders. Any of these disorders can be thought of as a predisposition for developing alcoholism, substance abuse, or other addictive behaviors.
  4. kana_marie

    kana_marie Community Champion

    Some people are just too old fashioned to ever talk about those things, or even admit that those things exist. When I was diagnosed with epilepsy my dad was disappointed because at my age there is no excuse for me to have to be on medicine for the rest of my life. And THAT was for a seizure disorder. You can imagine how proud he would be of me now if he knew what was going on with me. That's just how some cultures are. My family isn't Irish or catholic. My parents come from the home of the Hatfields and McCoys. Unless a bone was sticking up through your skin you just needed to walk it off and not be such a baby. My parents didnt even keep Tylenol or aspirin in the house. So, you can maybe imagine their views on mental disorders. I believe the word my dad used was "hogwash". Sometimes I think you just have to do what you gotta do, even if it means doing it by yourself. Some people will never change, and sometimes we don't have the right to expect them to. If you wait around for someone to change their ways and their views, sometimes it costs you more than if you had just left them alone about it in the first place.
  5. Auril

    Auril Active Contributor

    No experience with OCD here but...My dad self medicated his severe ADHD with alchohol for years. He may have even had bipolar disorder with mania being what I thought was ADHD, not sure. (I wonder about the bipolar disorder because I've been diagnosed with bipolar disorder myself). I wouldn't say my dad ruined his life, because he never had to face any consequences of his behavior since my codependent mom shielded him from any, but his drinking certainly had a huge impact on my childhood.

    He certainly was self medicating though, as do many other alchoholics.
  6. amethyst

    amethyst Community Champion

    It sounds like you come from a very background with some very complex issues. The great thing is that you don't touch any alcohol yourself which, no doubt, will always give you a clearer view of what is going on around you, and how to deal with certain issues that surround your family.
    Obsessive compulsive disorder is a difficult issue. At times, it can get completely overwhelming and irrational. I hope that you are able to protect yourself well, and that your personal life doesn't constantly evolve around having to deal with mental issues.