When it comes to 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 it. Depending on the unique situation, one problem often leads to another.
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 addiction is only adding to the problem and compounding the symptoms 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 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.