What’s the Difference Between Addiction and Obsession?

When the average person thinks about addiction, they may think about someone who is dependent on drugs, alcohol, tobacco, shopping or gambling. People who suffer from addiction many times also have other co-occurring disorders, such as obsessive/compulsive disorder.

Addiction vs Obsession

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. Examples of 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 disorder is seeking a mental escape from reality.

Obsessive and addictive behavior can be confused rather easily. By recognizing what is obsessive and what is addictive, you can go back to each individual root and address the underlying problem.

Overcoming Addictions and Obsessions

Therapy can be very beneficial for people suffering from addiction, anxiety, obsessions, depression and other mental disorders. Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) is one type of treatment that can be used for the multiple psychological problems many people suffer from. CBT helps a person learn how to change behaviors, feelings and thinking habits that are unhealthy; most people begin to see results immediately, changing behaviors to positive, helpful, healthy ones.

Addictive or obsessive thoughts can be extremely distressing for anyone. Admitting that we have a substance use disorder problem or compulsive obsessions can be difficult, not just 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.

Get Help for Addiction or Obsessions

Learning to understand underlying issues and being given the tools to deal with them is the beginning of the road to recovery. Recovery is possible and health care professionals trained in addiction treatment can offer individualized recommendations and a plan for long-term success. Every day, we help people overcome both addictions and obsessions in our beautiful treatment centers on the Pacific coast. Reach out to us to learn more.

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  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3210595/
  2. https://www.beliefnet.com/Health/galleries/The-Difference-Between-an-Obsession-and-an-Addiction.aspx?utm