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Effective Compulsive Behavior Counseling, Substance Abuse and Addiction Treatment

Feeling out of control can be scary. Addiction treatment and compulsive behavior counseling can help you get control back in your life. A shopping addiction, substance abuse, addiction or chemical dependence, gambling disorder, or other compulsive behavior does not have to rule your life. Effective counseling can help now.

How To Know If You Have OCD: Symptoms & Signs Of Obsessive Compulsive Behavior

Obsessive compulsive behavior and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) can look different in different peoples’ lives. Compulsive spending, gambling, sexual activity, and behavioral rituals are just a few examples. People with OCD are often simultaneously distressed by their obsessions and feel compelled to complete whatever ritual or behavior to feel temporary relief.

While we don’t recommend self-diagnosis, below are a few symptoms that can suggest treatment for potential OCD or compulsive behaviors could be the right next step:

  • Fear of losing control of yourself or others
  • Difficulty tolerating uncertainty
  • Aggressive thoughts about harming others or yourself
  • Unwanted thoughts or aggression regarding sensitive subjects
  • Ritualistic counting, checking, orderliness, following a strict routine, hand washing or cleaning
  • Uncontrollable or intrusive thoughts or images related to sexual fantasies or activities
  • Doubts about your actions (i.e. whether you locked the door, turned off the oven, etc.)
  • Fear of contamination, dirt, or uncleanliness
  • Avoidance of situations that trigger obsessions (i.e. shaking hands)

Not All OCD Is The Same: Different Types Of Compulsive Behavior

Though many of the symptoms of OCD and compulsive behaviors are the same, the presentation varies from person to person. It may help to look at forms of OCD as subtypes of obsessive thoughts. Examples of common subtypes of OCD can include:

  • Contamination Obsessions (fear of getting sick, coming in contact with disease)
  • Harm Obsessions (obsessions of harming self or the potential harm of others)
  • Symmetry Obsessions (fixation on arrangement or organization of items)
  • Relationship Obsessions (obsession with uncertainty or “rightness” of intimate relationships)
  • Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors (compulsively picking, pulling, biting skin, hair, or nails)

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Developing the Right Plan for Addiction Treatment or Compulsive Behavior Counseling

Organizing the right therapy for OCD, addiction, Gambling disorder or other behavioral addictions depends on your unique needs, goals, and symptoms. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) can be helpful for working through negative thoughts and beliefs, and halting compulsive behavior.

At Modern Intimacy, we curate the most appropriate treatment plan to help you identify the most pressing concerns you have, and build an effective blueprint for coping. It is common to receive referrals for additional resources. We can connect you with our trusted medical professionals, who can evaluate the utility of medication and provide medication management, if necessary and recommended.

Support groups or group therapy can be a wonderful augment to your treatment program or recovery plan, and important aspect of building community There is often strength in numbers, and the gift of community in recovery can help reduce shame and provide tremendous validation and comfort. We’re will provide recommendations for appropriate peer support groups or 12-step fellowships, to help you round out the best recovery plan for you.

Managing Anxiety With Compulsive Behavior Counseling

At the root of obsessions and compulsive behavior is anxiety. Compulsive behavior counseling can be beneficial for people struggling with mild to severe obsession-related anxieties. One of the most successful forms of counseling for compulsive behaviors is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).

Through CBT, a therapist can help someone struggling with obsessions and compulsions to understand that while the anxiety is real and valid, the decision not to give into the obsessions is not dangerous or detrimental to their life (even though it may feel that way!) As someone progresses with CBT treatment, they will likely start to notice a decrease in anxiety and a more voluntary relationship with previously compulsive behaviors.

Addressing Substance Abuse with Personalized Addiction Treatment

Addiction therapy can be life-saving for those who struggle with substance abuse, addiction or dependence. Addiction treatment often involves education around the cycle of addiction, identification of any co-occurring mental health issues/disorders, and analyzing ways in which your addiction has negatively impacted the social, physical, legal, emotional, spiritual or occupational areas of your life. Understanding the impact can help you get back on track and aligned with your values.

Through individualized addiction treatment, a trained mental health professional can help you replace ineffective coping mechanisms with productive, healthy and safe skills. Depending on the severity of your substance use, it may be recommended to incorporate detoxification or addiction-based outpatient treatment programs to help prevent relapse, and ensure the most effective and appropriate long term treatment.

Many people who struggle with alcohol addiction or other substance use disorders also find community through Alcoholics Anonymous or other 12-step support groups. Your therapist may provide suggestions and relevant information for what groups are most appropriate, what to expect, and how to join.

Shopping Addiction Treatment + Other Compulsive Behavior Counseling

When compulsive behaviors are left untreated, the physical, emotional, financial, relational and legal consequences can be significant. The sooner someone reaches out for help, the better chance they have to establish a successful recovery. Rest assured, it is never too late to take the first step toward a life without addiction or compulsive behaviors.

Shopping addictions are rarely about the products purchased. Rather it’s how purchasing the times makes a person feel. Underlying issues around self-esteem and worth, anxiety, control, trauma, and many more potential hidden causes. Therapists who treat shopping addictions or other compulsive behavior disorders will work with clients to uncover the specific cause or purpose for the disorder. But even before the function of the behaviors are understood, developing a sustainable plan for recovery is essential and possible.