What’s the Difference between Addiction and Obsession?

When the average person thinks about addiction, most think about drugs, alcohol, tobacco, and maybe shopping or gambling. When a person is addicted to drugs or alcohol, they are chemically dependent on the drug. People who suffer from addiction many times also have other co-occurring disorders, such as obsessive/compulsive disorder. There is a strong correlation between addiction and obsessions.

An obsession is a ritualistic routine that becomes part of your normal life. Medically speaking it is a persistent preoccupation of a feeling or idea, which can be accompanied by anxiety. Obsessions can include excessive hand washing or repetitive counting. An addiction is slightly different. Rather than a focus on ritual, a person with substance use disorderion is about a mental escape from reality. Obsessive and addictive behavior can be co-mingled rather easily. By recognizing what is obsessive and what is addictive however, you can go back to each individual root and address the underlying problem.

Therapy can be very beneficial for people suffering from addiction, anxiety, obsessions, depression and other mental disorders. Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) can be used for the multiple psychological problems many people suffer from. CBT helps a person to change behaviors, feelings, and thinking habits that are unhealthy; most people begin to see results immediately, changing behaviors to positive, helpful, healthy ones. Learning to understand underlying issues and being given the tools to deal with them is the beginning of the road to recovery.

Addictive or obsessive thoughts can be extremely distressing for anyone. Admitting to a person with substance use disorderion problem or compulsive obsession can be difficult, even to ourselves, but especially to family and friends whom we may have offended or shut out of our lives. Telling the truth about our lives is one of the most powerful things we can ever do. Recovery is possible and health care professionals trained in addiction treatment can offer individualized recommendations and a plan for long-term success.