Your heart is racing, your palms are cold and clammy, you’ve met with the familiar fight or flight urges. Anxiety affects many individuals in many different ways. Perhaps you have trouble sleeping or difficulty breathing, and you can’t seem to shake a feeling of uneasiness.
Anxiety is a common mental health disorder that impacts roughly 40 million American adults according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Although the number could be higher when we take into consideration individuals who have not been diagnosed with the disorder.
Those who suffer from the overwhelming symptoms of anxiety often turn to substances to ease the physical symptoms and feel like they have some control over their lives. However, the opposite is actually true because abusing substances is only covering the symptoms with a different type of disorder.
What is Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)?
There is a huge difference between worrying about an upcoming test, feeling anxious about an upcoming event or being nervous about something like public speaking and having anxiety. Generalized Anxiety Disorder is the term most often used for individuals who suffer from a constant and often irrational state of worry. Not only does the feeling persist for months or even years, but no matter what happens, there seems to be no resolution in sight.
Although a person suffering from GAD may seem to be worrying about one topic, the subject of their anxiety changes and fluctuates until they are always anxious and uneasy about events and people around them. This overwhelming sensation makes it extremely difficult to cope and often results in physical symptoms that make it difficult to live a normal life.
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The Signs of Anxiety
Anxiety presents differently for many different people. Some of the most common symptoms of anxiety include:
- Increased heart rate and heart palpitations
- Shortness of breath
- Dry mouth
- Nausea, dizziness, and vomiting
- Difficulty sleeping
- Fear and uneasiness
- Difficulty sitting still or concentrating
- Muscle tension or tension headaches
Many individuals who suffer from anxiety also describe simply not being able to turn off their thoughts; their minds are always racing from thought to thought, worrying and feeling uneasy about things that would not normally matter to someone without anxiety. For a person who has anxiety, even the smallest issue or potential hiccup can seem like a huge, insurmountable problem.
Does Anxiety Lead to Substance Abuse?
When it comes to anxiety and drug use, it’s difficult to say which comes first. It’s possible for anxiety to result in substance abuse, but it’s also common for substance abuse to cause anxiety. Depending on the unique situation, one problem often leads to another.
For many individuals who suffer from anxiety, self-medicating with drugs or alcohol can mask the symptoms and make them feel like they are in control of their lives. However, this is not true. Covering up a mental health disorder such as anxiety with addiction is only adding to the problem and compounding the symptoms of anxiety with symptoms of addiction, which include self-loathing, paranoia, depression and more.
In many cases, anxiety is a secondary mental health disorder that comes with other disorders such as PTSD, bipolar or eating disorders. Individuals suffering from these mental health problems often turn to drugs or alcohol to seek comfort from their symptoms and dull their overwhelming and uncomfortable feelings.
Individuals who suffer from anxiety pose an even greater risk when it comes to self-medicating with drugs or alcohol. For many, daily doses of doctor-prescribed anti-anxiety medication is the only way to control symptoms, and when these drugs are mixed with alcohol or illicit substances, the consequences could be devastating leading to the need for drug or alcohol treatment rehab.
How to Treat Substance Abuse and Anxiety
The best way to treat substance abuse and anxiety is with professional alcohol or drug rehab treatment designed to address the unique problems associated with mental illness and addiction. When a person is diagnosed with a mental illness such as anxiety in addition to addiction, it’s referred to as a dual diagnosis. Dual diagnosis patients require specialized treatment that is designed to address both the mental illness and addiction aspects of their problems.
It’s important to choose a luxury treatment center that is experienced in handling dual diagnosis clients. Otherwise, the treatment may not be effective. At Beachway Therapy Center, our highly trained and experienced therapists and counselors are qualified to address the physical and mental symptoms of a dual diagnosis patient to facilitate a successful recovery plan.
Benefits of the Holistic Treatment for Anxiety Disorders and Substance Abuse
At Beachway Therapy Center, we use a holistic treatment approach to healing. This treatment method is known to heal the mind, body, and soul of the client through unique therapy treatments, nutritional counseling and more. One of the most significant features of the holistic treatment is that instead of simply treating the superficial symptoms of addiction, our therapists address the underlying causes of addiction and mental illness. This ensures lasting results and helps to prepare clients for a healthy and successful future free from addiction and mental health problems.
Our treatment plans are designed to meet the unique needs of the client, depending on their interests and medical requirements. Some of our most popular therapies include equine therapy, art and drama therapy, faith-based healing, nutritional counseling, and more.
Once the client has completed treatment, they are then moved to one of our aftercare programs. These programs are designed to act as a transition between substance abuse rehab and the real world. Some of our aftercare options include placement in a sober living community, access to group therapy and support groups, help to find employment or to secure a post-secondary education, and more. These aftercare programs are designed to help clients manage triggers and re-enter society with a new lease on life.
Don’t Let Anxiety and Substance Abuse Stand in the Way of a Happy and Healthy Life
It’s easy to feel defeated when no matter what you do things seem to go wrong. There is no shame in suffering from a mental health disorder such as anxiety and addiction. Like many other chronic diseases, it is simply a matter of getting the help you need and working to manage the symptoms and triggers.
Treatment at a qualified rehab facility is the perfect way to get help and find freedom from your symptoms. Dual diagnosis treatment is often challenging, however, the reward is a healthy and happy future.
For more information on the programs and treatment options offered at Beachway Therapy Center, call 877-284-0353 today and speak with one of our compassionate and understanding counselors.