What Happens if OCD Is Left Untreated?

What Happens if OCD Is Left Untreated?

You may hear people talk about having OCD in a light-hearted manner, but OCD is not a joke. Obsessive-compulsive disorder, or OCD, involves thoughts and behaviors that overtake the individual. Sadly what happens if OCD is left untreated is that the individual becomes paralyzed by obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors. At The Last House, we understand mental health, and we know the complexities of obsessive-compulsive disorder. In addition, we know how untreated OCD can lead to self-medicating to cope with the symptoms. We’re here to help you manage your OCD and any substance use so that you can lead a full life. 

What Is OCD?

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a chronic mental health disorder in which a person experiences uncontrollable, repeated thoughts and/or behaviors that they feel compelled to repeat over and over. OCD is characterized by obsessions and compulsions. Obsessions are repeated thoughts, urges, or mental images that cause anxiety. Compulsions are repetitive behaviors that a person feels the desire to do in response to obsessive thoughts. For example, everyone may turn back to check that a door is locked or check to make sure that the oven has indeed been turned off. However, obsessive-compulsive disorder is much more than rechecking a detail now and then. While most can overcome thoughts to recheck items, that is not always the case for those suffering from OCD. An inability to function is what happens when OCD is left untreated. 

What Are the Signs of OCD?

Those with OCD will face obsessions, compulsions, or a combination of the two.  Common obsessions include:

  • A fear of germs,
  • Unwanted taboo thoughts, 
  • Aggressive thoughts toward self, and 
  • Having things in a symmetrical or perfect order.

In response to these compulsive thoughts, many with OCD find themselves cleaning or handwashing exxcessively, arranging items in a precise way, repeatedly rechecking things, and compulsively counting. Most with OCD do not derive any pleasure from these ritualistic behaviors but repeat them to get relief from the obsessive thoughts. Some with OCD will also have motor tics such as facial grimacing, eye blinking, throat clearing, sniffing, grunting sounds, or more. Many, if not all, of these symptoms may increase when the individual is under additional stress. 

What Happens if OCD Is Left Untreated?

Obsessive-compulsive disorder can be treated so that the symptoms can be managed. Often symptoms will ebb and flow over time. Self-medication and isolation are two examples of what happens if OCD is left untreated. Many with OCD will begin to aboid situations or people that trigger their symptoms. Others will turn to drugs and alcohol to quiet the obsessive thoughts. Left untreated, OCD diminishes the individual’s quality of life and reduces the ability to function independently. Through therapy and other approaches, obsessive-compulsive disorder can be managed to allow for a full, independent, happy life. OCD doesn’t have to result in isolation and despair. 

How To Get Help With OCD Today

The Last House is a network of structured sober living homes in the heart of West Los Angeles. We believe in providing our clients with the tools to have a meaningful life and participate in their sobriety.  Activities such as service commitments, sober parties, conventions, dances, and house outings are all a part of helping you learn how to have fun in sobriety.  Comprised of active members of the Los Angeles Sober Living community, our staff is familiar with many recovery support groups in the area.  We understand the relationship between mental health and addiction. We can support you while you learn how to manage your OCD without isolating or turning to drugs and alcohol. If you’re wondering how to create your sober life, The Last House is here to help. 

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