How is Anxiety Tied to Addiction?

Anxiety is a huge word right now. It seems many people are struggling to deal with their anxiety on many levels, both personal and global. While the concept of anxiety is understood by most people, the way it plays out for people is different as well as the implications of the medical state of anxiety. Recovery is always possible, but part of treatment comes from grasping the full scope of anxiety and what it means when it comes to substance abuse.

Anxiety Disorders

The commonly accepted definition of anxiety is feeling worry or dread, especially regarding an imminent event. Medically speaking, anxiety can mean a number of different mental health conditions under the umbrella. The key point is anxiety disorders fall under mental health conditions and the person may feel totally helpless to do anything about it. The issue is exacerbated when the person’s life suffers due to the debilitating effects of anxiety. People who experience anxious moments. Professional, social, familial, and academic obligations will be interrupted and damaged by a sense of panic, stress, and foreboding that comes as part of the condition.

Different Types of Anxiety

Anxiety disorder is not just overreacting. It is a characteristic of anxiety that is disproportionate to the trigger. Even just the smallest thing may cue someone’s anxiety who is already on high alert. People can fret over everyday topics who have Generalized Anxiety Disorder. These worries occur even if there is no tangible reason for them. Panic disorder can grip people with fear so bad they have trouble breathing and feel nauseated. For a person with social anxiety, they may feel judged by others and not be able to go out in public. This makes it hard to make friends, hold a job, or even just leave the house most days when it gets serious.

Drugs and Anxiety

The euphoria of taking drugs can help people fight back against anxiety-for a time. When it does not last, the body breaks down the drugs and dopamine is reabsorbed by the brain. If a person is taking more drugs to feel better, over time, they will add more problems and may even cause their anxiety to worsen. The cycle of self-medication and rebound anxiety can deepen both the addiction and symptoms of anxiety disorder. This catch-22 wherein people are struggling with addiction and anxiety in tandem can keep them from seeing the reality of their addiction and how it fuels further anxiety.

Help for Anxiety and Addiction

The best way to fight back against anxiety and addiction is to seek support from a treatment program. Co-occurring disorders of anxiety and drug addiction can start at any time and the person with anxiety will keep using drugs to cope with anxiety until they find help. The first step is to detox, a process of weaning off physical dependence on substances. Detox is difficult, so do not attempt it at home by yourself. Find a safe, clean space that will help you move beyond anxiety to hope and recovery.

The Last Resort provides a safe, supportive environment for men in a retreat-like setting. Nature is an important component of recovery and healing. We strive to provide a place of enrichment that cultivates the inner as well as the outer journey of recovery. However you find your way to the Last Resort, we endeavor to provide a haven where you can journey through recovery feeling like your life and story have meaning and a purpose. Call us to find out more: 512-750-6750.