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. However, the number could be higher when we consider individuals who have not been diagnosed with the disorder. Add to that the many people who are also suffering from another disorder, and the diagnosis of those 40 million Americans become even more complex.  This is often referred to as dual diagnosis, and here at Beachway Therapy Center, our staff is here to help.

Those who suffer from the overwhelming symptoms 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.

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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. 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.

chair with pillow at our florida anxiety rehab facility

The Signs of Anxiety

Anxiety presents differently for many different people. Some of the most common symptoms include:

  • Increased heart rate and heart palpitations
  • Shortness of breath
  • Perspiration
  • 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 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. 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 drug use, it’s difficult to say which comes first. Anxiety can result in substance abuse, but it’s also common for substance abuse to cause it. Depending on the unique situation, one problem often leads to another, which results in a dual diagnosis.

A customized treatment plan for your loved one is the key, so each disorder is treated concurrently during and after their time at Beachway.  For example, one individual may abuse alcohol to manage their anxiety. Treating both anxiety AND substance abuse is crucial, and our staff is here to help, guide, and support through each step of the dual diagnosis treatment process.

For many individuals who suffer, 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 with an addiction adds to the problem and may exacerbate the issue, resulting in, or increasing, self-loathing, paranoia, depression, and more.

In many cases, anxiety is a secondary mental health disorder with other disorders such as PTSDdepression, 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 pose an even greater risk for self-medicating with drugs or alcohol. For many, daily doses of doctor-prescribed anti-anxiety medication are the only way to control symptoms. When these drugs are mixed with alcohol or illicit substances, the consequences could be devastating, leading to 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 may require specialized treatment designed to address both the mental illness and addiction aspects of their problems.

It’s important to choose a treatment center experienced in handling dual diagnosis clients. Otherwise, the treatment may not be effective. At Beachway Therapy Center, our highly trained and experienced therapists 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 utilize a holistic treatment approach in the dual diagnosis healing process. This treatment method is known to heal a patient’s mind, body, and soul through unique therapy treatments, nutritional counseling, mindfulness, and more.

One of the most significant holistic treatment features 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 prepare our patients for a healthy and successful future free from addiction and mental health problems.

Our treatment plans are designed to meet each patient’s unique needs while considering their interests and physical capabilities. Some of our most popular therapies include equine therapy, art and drama therapy, faith-based healing, nutritional counseling, and more.

Once patients complete dual diagnosis treatment, they may move to one of our aftercare programs. These programs are designed to 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, finding employment or securing a post-secondary education, and more. These aftercare programs are designed to help our patients manage triggers and re-enter society with a new lease on life.

Don’t Let Anxiety and Addiction Stand in the Way of a Happy and Healthy Life

It’s easy to feel defeated when things seem to go wrong no matter what you do. There is no shame in suffering from a mental health disorder and addiction. Like many other chronic diseases, it is simply a matter of getting the help you need through dual diagnosis treatment and managing the symptoms and triggers.

Treatment at a qualified anxiety and addiction rehab facility in Florida is the perfect way to get help and find freedom from your symptoms. Dual diagnosis treatment can be challenging; however, the reward is a healthy and happy future.

 

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