Feeling anxious now and then about problems at work, taking an exam, or before making an important decision is a standard and normal emotion. It’s when feelings of worry and fear are constant and overwhelming, plaguing your everyday life, that they are signs of an anxiety disorder.
What Is An Anxiety Disorder?
Anxiety disorders are a group of mental illnesses that cause constant distress by making a person feel excessive and overwhelming anxiety and fear. The emotion is often so overwhelming that the person may avoid work, school, or any people. This is extremely disruptive to a person’s life.
Clinical defined anxiety that is diagnosed by a mental health professional means the symptoms of the mental health disorder are so much so that the person needs proper treatment to deal with the symptoms. Treatment for this common mental disorder at an anxiety recovery center is necessary for someone to learn to manage the triggers associated. Medical professionals will help develop a treatment plan that can include developing coping strategies, medication management, and therapy.
How Common Are Anxiety Disorders?
Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health disorders in the United States. More than 18% of adults suffer from anxiety in any given year, and 30% of adults will suffer from an anxiety disorder at some point in their lives.
Anxiety disorders can be debilitating, making it difficult to function in day-to-day life. While anxiety disorders are treatable, only 36.9% of people suffering from anxiety receive treatment. If you think you may be suffering from this mental health condition, it is important to seek out professional help. A qualified anxiety treatment program can provide you with the tools you need to manage your anxiety and live a healthy and happy life.
How is an Anxiety Disorder Different From Normal Anxiety?
Anxiety is a normal emotion that occurs when someone is facing a problem at school or work, or before making a big decision. This occasional anxiety is completely normal and once you’ve faced your problem or made your big decision the anxiety subsides. For individuals that have anxiety disorders small decisions and regular daily interactions with other people can feel overwhelming. Anxiety triggers are a common occurrence for the smallest reasons.
What Are the Types of Anxiety Disorders?
Anxiety disorder can show up in different forms. It is a generalized term that includes different conditions where anxiety manifests as a response to a person, place, or thing. There are several types of anxiety disorders.
A panic disorder is when you have a feeling of terror that strikes at random. Panic attacks occur as a result of this form of anxiety which causes you to sweat, have chest pains, as well as, heart palpitations. You may even feel like you are choking or having a heart attack. When you experience panic attacks it’s a combination of psychological and physical symptoms.
Because the symptoms related to panic disorder are so severe, many people go to the emergency room for fear they may be experiencing a life-threatening illness. Panic attacks can occur in conjunction with other mental health issues such as trauma or depression.
Social Anxiety Disorder
This form of anxiety is a mental health condition that can cause significant distress in social situations. People with social anxiety may feel extremely self-conscious and anxious in social interactions, leading them to avoid or limit their exposure to socializing. While this can be a debilitating condition, there are effective treatment options available.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a type of mental health treatment that can help people with social anxiety to manage their symptoms. CBT focuses on helping people to identify and change negative thoughts and behaviors that contribute to their anxiety. Medications, such as antidepressants, may also be prescribed to help treat social anxiety. With proper treatment, people with social anxiety can learn to manage their symptoms and lead fulfilling lives.
Phobias, Specific Phobia
Phobias are a type of anxiety that occurs when someone experiences intense fear or anxiety in response to a specific object or situation. Common phobias include fear of heights, fear of enclosed spaces, and fear of spiders or snakes. While phobias can be mild, they can also be very severe, causing people to go to great lengths to avoid the thing they’re afraid of. In some cases, phobias can even interfere with daily activities and quality of life.
Fortunately, there are effective treatments available for phobia sufferers. With anxiety treatment and medical care, most people can effectively manage their symptoms and lead normal, productive lives.
Agoraphobia is a type of anxiety disorder that can make it difficult or impossible to leave your home. People with agoraphobia often feel like they are in danger when they are in public places, and as a result, they may avoid leaving their homes altogether. While the exact cause of agoraphobia is unknown, it is thought to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
Treatment for agoraphobia typically involves exposure therapy and medication. With exposure therapy, people with agoraphobia gradually expose themselves to the situations that trigger their anxiety. Medication can also be used to help reduce anxiety levels. Agoraphobia can be a debilitating condition, but with treatment, many people can manage their anxiety and lead normal lives.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is a condition that is characterized by excessive and persistent worry about a variety of topics. People with GAD may find it difficult to control their anxiety, and the anxiety may interfere with their daily lives. Treatment for GAD typically includes CBT, medications, or a combination of the two.
Some people with GAD may also benefit from attending a treatment center that specializes in anxiety treatment. Treatment centers can provide intensive treatment and support that can be helpful for people with GAD.
Symptoms of an Anxiety Disorder
Signs of anxiety disorders can differ, but most anxiety disorders share some of these general symptoms:
- Panic, Fear, and Uneasiness
- Sleep Problems
- Restlessness (unable to stay calm)
- Cold, Sweaty, Numb, or Tingling Hands and Feet
- Shortness of Breath
- Heart Palpitations
- Dry Mouth
- Tense Muscles
While treatment options vary depending on the type and severity of anxiety, there are some these are common symptoms that are worth watching out for. Feeling excessively nervous or stressed, avoiding social situations, or experiencing panic attacks are all signs that you may be struggling with one of these mental health conditions.
If you feel like your anxiety is impacting your daily life, it may be time to seek help from a treatment center or behavioral health professional. With proper treatment, it is possible to manage your anxiety and live a happy and fulfilling life.
Anxiety and Co-Occurring Addiction
People with an anxiety disorder are two to three times more likely to have co-occurring addiction. About 20% of Americans with an anxiety disorder also have an alcohol or substance disorder, which is also known as a dual diagnosis. At Sana Lake Recovery Center, our healthcare professionals can treat your anxiety disorder and co-occurring addiction.
Each case is different, and there are several reasons why anxiety can trigger substance use or vice versa, some are:
- An attempt to self-manage symptoms. One of the central beliefs regarding the relationship between anxiety and substance use disorder is that individuals with an anxiety disorder turn to alcohol or drugs to control or alleviate their physical or psychological symptoms.
- Biochemical factors may be present. This type of co-occurring disorder may be related to a chemical imbalance in the brain. For example, lower levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood, energy levels, sleep, metabolism, and other functions, have been connected to mental illness and alcoholism.
- Having a genetic disposition. Evidence shows that both addiction and anxiety disorders have a genetic component. People who are susceptible to anxiety may also be prone to substance misuse and addiction if these conditions have been in their families.
- The effects of substance use or withdrawal. The misuse of drugs or alcohol can cause symptoms like agitation, nervousness, sleeplessness, and obsessive fears, that mimic anxiety. When withdrawing from the effects of substances, which occurs in the medical detoxification phase, individuals can experience anxiety, restlessness, and insomnia while the brain tries to stabilize its chemical balance.
The Battle Between Substance Use and Anxiety Disorders
The majority of people with an alcohol or other substance use issue accompanied by an anxiety disorder experience them independently. However, battling these co-occurring disorders can be a vicious cycle. In an attempt to cope with unwanted symptoms, it is not uncommon for people with anxiety disorders to misuse alcohol or drugs. Individuals with an anxiety disorder mistakenly turn to substances like alcohol as a way to self-medicate or lessen the anxiety symptoms. The truth is that the symptoms of one disorder worsen the symptoms of the other.
The co-occurrence of substance use disorder, specifically with alcohol, is frequent among individuals with social anxiety. People with this disorder report that drinking alcohol helps to alleviate their social anxiety when the truth is that it will often make this mental illness worse. What can start as one or two drinks at social events may seem harmless and fun at first, but this type of alcohol consumption when coupled with social anxiety disorder, can lead to a severe habit of alcohol abuse. You may feel that you are unable to get through social situations without the use of alcohol. Alcohol abuse tends to develop after the onset of this disorder.
Seeking Treatment at An Anxiety Recovery Center
Symptoms of an anxiety disorder can be both physical and psychological, and addressing these symptoms calls for a multidisciplinary approach to treatment. Treatment should be focused on both the anxiety disorder and the co-occurring disorder like substance abuse. Solely treating anxiety or substance abuse issues won’t help the person. Managing both at an anxiety recovery center is most beneficial because it helps to lower the risk of relapse.
Treatment Types for Substance Use and Anxiety
Residential Treatment (Inpatient Program): Members suffering from more severe anxiety and substance use symptoms will likely be recommended for residential treatment so they can be provided with 24/7 care. Residential treatment programs help people with anxiety disorders learn how to manage their symptoms effectively and rebuild their lives in addiction recovery.
Outpatient Therapy and Treatment: This type of program is more geared to people that have more minor symptoms related to both illnesses. The anxiety treatment will involve common types of therapy such as group therapy, individual therapy, and family therapy. Outpatient programs also teach members effective stress management techniques to manage triggers.
Regardless if someone decides to enroll in an outpatient or residential treatment members will often be prescribed medication to manage anxiety. However, members with this type of co-occurring disorder have an increased risk for abuse and severe interactions with prescription medication. Doctors will often prescribe medication that has lower abuse potential and tend to be safer should the member have a relapse. Of course, the choice of drugs depends on each individual and their unique condition.
Therapies Offered at An Anxiety Recovery Center
Therapy is often a chosen method of treatment for people suffering from both anxiety and substance abuse disorders. In particular, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapy and chosen method for this type of dual diagnosis because it is well-established, effective, and shows lasting results. It focuses on identifying, understanding, and changing your way of thinking and behavior patterns.
Our specialists at Sana Lake Recovery Center believe that treatment is meant to help individuals work through every element and contributing factor, including any co-occurring disorders. We have the resources to provide treatment that addresses addiction and accompanying disorders. One of the first steps you will take at our facility is to go through detox before you start treatment for a co-occurring disorder.
Receive Treatment at Our Anxiety Recovery Center
If you or your loved one would like to seek treatment for anxiety and substance abuse, take the first step today by speaking with one of our member care specialists. You can also read more about our treatment options for co-occurring disorders or learn more about how we create personalized recovery plans for each member at our treatment centers.
At Sana Lake, we’ve embraced an evidence-based approach to treatment. Our recovery-oriented system of care means that we recognize you as a valuable, complete human. At Sana Lake Recovery Center, we see you, we hear you. We believe you matter. Contact us today to begin a lifetime of recovery.