Mental health disorders currently run rampant throughout the United States. Anxiety is one of the more common afflictions, with around 40-million men and women suffering from the issue. This type of mental health problem is crippling for many of these men and women, and it’s not uncommon for anxiety to go overlooked and untreated. There is still a stigma surrounding anxiety, meaning many people would rather suffer silently rather than admit they have an issue.
Anxiety disorders often go hand-in-hand with alcohol and drug abuse. Your loved one may be using alcohol to self-medicate for their problem rather than seek professional help. Having an anxiety disorder along with a substance abuse disorder is a complex issue, one that can take a lot of time and energy to treat. But it can be done. Read on to learn how to spot the signs of anxiety as well as the signs of alcohol and drug use in someone you love.
What is Anxiety?
An actual anxiety disorder is much more complex than just being nervous at a new job interview or feeling a bit shy around new people. Anxiety disorders can be crippling for men and women, especially when they are left undiagnosed and untreated. Unfortunately, anxiety often leads to drug and alcohol use for patients who are looking to either become more social or to dull their pain. No one starts off wanting to develop a substance abuse disorder, but many patients with anxiety soon realize that they now have an addiction that they can’t manage. There are many forms of anxiety, from generalized anxiety to separation anxiety to social anxiety disorder and more.
What are Common Signs of Anxiety?
There are many symptoms of anxiety one must look out for in a loved one. While everyone presents these symptoms somewhat differently, the following symptoms are common:
• Intense fears
• Trouble breathing
• Impending sense of doom
• Increased heart rate
• Panic attacks
• Feeling tired and weak
• Chest pains
• Feeling trapped
• Trouble concentrating
• Rapid breathing
For many people, the use of drugs or alcohol can numb the above feelings, if only for a short time. Their body will soon build up a tolerance to their drug of choice, however, and they will find that more is needed to get the relief they are after.
Medications for Anxiety
If someone you love is dealing with an anxiety disorder and an addiction to drugs or alcohol, they will be given a dual diagnosis when they are seen by a professional. A doctor will usually prescribe an antidepressant to combat these symptoms. These medications dull the effects of anxiety by decreasing the central nervous system and by slowing brain activity. However, your loved one will need additional help for their addiction.
Treatment for Addiction
If someone you love needs help for both an addiction and an anxiety disorder, treatment is readily available. The first step is to help he or she accept that they need professional help. They must make the decision for themselves in order for treatment to work. But you can help by offering assistance in any way you can.
Finding a rehab facility that treats a dual diagnosis is very important. In order for your family member or friend to stay on the path to recovery, they must first attack the heart of the issue- their anxiety. A reputable treatment center will focus on both parts of the problem, the anxiety disorder and the addiction. Once these two issues are examined separately, treatment for both will be the next step. From there, your loved one can work on both at the same time in order to get better.
Treating Mental Illness and Addiction
Have you watched your family member or friend treat their anxiety with drugs or alcohol, or both? Are they caught in a cycle of anxiety and abuse? We can help! Both concerns are treatable, and we have the resources to do so. Call 844-639-8371 to talk to a representative today. We know how to treat a variety of dual diagnoses, especially patients suffering from anxiety disorders. You can also stop in and talk to us at any time. We look forward to seeing you as soon as possible!