Anxiety and Addiction

It’s natural to feel anxious about starting a new job, taking a test, or moving to a new place. These anxiety feelings are unpleasant, but it can also motivate you to work harder and accomplish more. Continuous anxiety is a feeling that comes and goes without interfering with everyday life. But people living with anxiety disorder usually experience fear that frequently follows them, becoming intensified and sometimes debilitating.

An anxiety disorder may cause people to stop doing the things they once enjoyed. It may prevent them from crossing the street, entering an elevator, or only leaving your home in emergencies. If an anxiety disorder is left untreated, it will only continue to get worse.

Treating co-occurring disorders like anxiety and addiction simultaneously is the only way to recover from both fully. It starts with identifying the signs and symptoms of anxiety and addiction, wanting to get help, and the different types of addiction therapy.

What Are Anxiety Disorders?

anxiety and addiction

Anxiety disorders are a prevalent form of an emotional condition that can affect anyone at any age. Research has stated that women are more likely than men to be living with anxiety disorder.

Anxiety is a natural stress response when the body feels fear or apprehension about what’s to come. Examples are the first day of school, a job interview, or giving a speech that may cause most people to be anxious. But if your anxiety feelings are extreme, go on for longer than six months, and interfere with daily life, you might be living with anxiety disorder.

Anxiety disorders can occur from social anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder, which all have similar fear symptoms, but each coming from different causes. Those who have an anxiety disorder are at a higher risk of suffering from substance abuse and addiction. They’ll find themselves abusing drugs and alcohol to cope with their symptoms of anxiety and addiction. However, substance abuse only makes the physical and psychological symptoms of anxiety more heightened, leading to dependence.

Types of Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety can manifest in various ways, from a consistent feeling of dread to intense, paralyzing fear. Different kinds of anxiety disorders will require dual diagnosis therapy. Anxiety disorders become broken down into several categories and conditions, with each disease categorized by their symptoms. 

Commonly diagnosed anxiety disorders and their symptoms include:

Signs and Symptoms of Anxiety Disorders

To be clinically diagnosed with anxiety disorder, symptoms must be felt four or more days each week for at least six months. With the right treatment program and therapy, recovery is possible from anxiety and addiction. 

Signs of an anxiety disorder may include: 

Symptoms of an anxiety disorder include:

Origins of Anxiety Disorder

Research shows that biological, physiological, and environmental factors will contribute to a greater probability of anxiety disorder development. Genetic reasons cause most people with an anxiety disorder to react differently to stress than others.

Studies have shown that the brain section that processes fears in people with an anxiety disorder has a high sensitivity to stress caused by unfamiliar places and circumstances. These brain chemicals are called neurotransmitters, and they also play a vital role in anxiety disorders. In particular, serotonin and cortisol are also attached to feelings of depression and anxiety. 

Family history and genetics are also significant risk factors for causing anxiety. About 50% of those with panic disorders and 40% of those with generalized anxiety disorder have a family history of the diseases.

Some mental health disorders that can contribute to anxiety disorder include: 

Studies show that anxiety and addiction often entwine. Some other risk factors for anxiety and addiction may include age and gender. Rates of women who suffer from anxiety and addiction are twice as high as they are for men.

Anxiety and Addiction

The coexistence of addiction and anxiety or other mental disorders is a co-occurring disorder or dual diagnosis. 

A few different reasons why anxiety and addiction generally co-occur include:

Treating Anxiety and Addiction

It’s crucial to manage both the anxiety and addiction simultaneously with a dual diagnosis from a treatment center specialized in treating co-occurring disorders. Living with anxiety and addiction increases the severity of the substance use disorder, which further increases the rate of relapse. 

Anxiety and addiction decrease the rate of recovery while also raising suicide risks for patients with panic disorder. Dual diagnosis treatment specialists will keep all of those factors in mind while developing a customized treatment plan. Their most commonly used treatment options for healing anxiety disorders are medication and therapy. 

Medications for anxiety disorders include:

Anxiety and addiction can be treated successfully using anti-anxiety medications, therapy, and behavioral modification approaches. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is one of the most effective treatments for both anxiety and addiction. People in a dual diagnosis program will use CBT to learn new coping strategies to guide them through the recovery and cope with high-stress situations that cause triggers. CBT can also be applied in individual and group therapy sessions.

Patients in a dual diagnosis program require specialized treatment that addresses both issues simultaneously. The recovery program for co-occurring anxiety and addiction disorder will include numerous levels of care. 

Treatment starts with detox and is followed by an inpatient drug rehab or a partial hospitalization program, followed by aftercare. 12-step programs and family therapy are also parts of the treatment process. These help to strengthen the patient’s support system and rewire them to discover their sense of self-worth.

People suffering from anxiety and addiction will require professional dual diagnosis treatment to recover fully. Our healthcare facilities here at CNV Detox have a high success rate of treating co-occurring disorders like anxiety and addiction.

CNV Detox Center Can Help People Living with Anxiety and Addiction

Here at CNV Detox, our health care professionals can help reduce anxiety and addiction symptoms and help our patients fully recover, whether through therapy, medication, or both.

An inpatient treatment program might be recommended depending on the length and severity of the anxiety and addiction. For others with less severe symptoms, our partial hospitalization program might be more appropriate. But regardless of the treatment method, CNV Detox will help each patient determine the best treatment program, allowing them to recover and live a sober lifestyle. 

If you or a loved one is living with anxiety and addiction, don’t hesitate any longer. Allow our team at CNV Detox to explain all available options. We understand how difficult dealing with anxiety and addiction can be, and our therapeutic approach is to treat everyone like a person and not just a patient. Contact us today!