If you’re having obsessive thoughts, it can be more than just distracting. Obsessive thinking can become one of the causes of addiction because if you aren’t able to gain control over the distressing thoughts and images flowing into your head, you may find yourself turning to substances to quiet your mind.
At TruHealing Centers, our dual diagnosis treatment program can help you overcome both obsessive thinking and addiction. Reach out to us online today or call 833.631.0525 to discuss the many benefits of our mental health treatment programs.
What Is Obsessive Thinking?
Obsessive thinking is a series of thoughts paired with negative judgments about yourself that you cannot control. These persistent and distressing obsessive thoughts can, at times, be only annoying, but they can quickly become all-encompassing and debilitating. This is where obsessive thinking and addiction become tethered, as unflattering self-judgments like thinking that you are not good enough cloud your thinking. Obsessive thinking can also cause self-medication with drugs seems like the only way out of this pattern of thought.
Additional examples of obsessive thoughts include:
- Small details like not locking your door, which can indicate obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Getting critically sick
- Letting down family and friends
- Feeling shame
- Traumatic memories
- The future
Obsessive thoughts impact both mood and how you are able to function in your life. When negative thoughts begin to enter the mind, a person’s initial emotion is discomfort and annoyance. One of the ways many choose to avoid the pain and hurt of these thoughts is with drugs capable of numbing the sensation of obsessive thoughts.
Is Obsessive Thinking One of the Causes of Addiction?
Sadly, obsessive thoughts are closely related to drug and alcohol addiction. They are a central feature of obsessive-compulsive disorder and mental health disorders such as:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Self-medication is all too common in people who suffer from obsessive thoughts. Drinking alcohol or using drugs may indeed quiet your obsessive thoughts temporarily but, of course, harmful substances will make your problem worse. In recovery, you will learn to manage not only the obsessive thoughts that were at the root of your addiction but also thoughts related to fears about a relapse in the future. Learning healthy ways to cope with obsessive thoughts is essential for a successful long-term recovery.
Remember You Are Not Your Thoughts
You are more than your thoughts, and separating yourself from these worries, images, and obsessive thoughts will put less weight on you in your daily life. Think of your thoughts as more like a social media feed. Sometimes you see unpleasant, repetitive, and irrelevant images that are not associated with you. Just as you do not need to click on or read those social media posts, you do not need to engage in the images and thoughts coming into your head.
Let Yourself Experience the Thoughts
Do you remember being a kid with a school assignment due and you tried to avoid it, put it off, not think about it? That never worked out because you had to face it and get through it. Avoiding it only made it more stressful. Avoiding obsessive thoughts or pushing them away gives them more power. This is when obsessive thinking and addiction can become problematic. Instead of avoidance, acknowledge the thoughts, see them as just thoughts that cannot harm you directly. Without your energy, these thoughts are nothing but dust that will blow away.
Seek Professional Help
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can be effective in helping people manage obsessive thoughts. In CBT, you will learn to challenge your relationship with your own thoughts. A professional therapist can help you see the irrationality within and the traps of your thoughts and help you develop the essential coping mechanisms for handling them in a healthy way.
Overcome Obsessive Thinking and Addiction at TruHealing Centers
Don’t let your obsessive thoughts continue to consume you and drive you to addictive behaviors. Contact our compassionate TruHealing Centers team today using our secure online form, or call us confidentially at 833.631.0525 to learn more about how we can help improve your mental health through treatment and therapy.