Legacy Healing Center Blog
The Connection Between Anxiety and Addiction
Americans suffer from anxiety disorders more than any other type of mental illness. The National Institute on Mental Health found that over 18% of adults in the U.S. experience some form of anxiety. Fear is a normal and healthy response to dangerous or stressful situations. For those who suffer from an anxiety disorder, they feel persistent, often unfounded fears that can interfere with work, social activities, and close relationships. Anxiety symptoms can manifest psychologically and physically, so addressing all the symptoms requires a multidisciplinary approach at Legacy Healing’s anxiety and addiction treatment in Fort Lauderdale.
Many people who deal with clinical anxiety misuse alcohol or drugs to cope with their symptoms. The National Institute on Drug Abuse found that people with anxiety are twice as likely to abuse substances compared to the general population. Unfortunately, drug and alcohol use can actually intensify the feelings of anxiety, usually after the effects have worn off, causing people to need to use more to cope with those feelings. This can result in a cycle of substance abuse that leads to biological dependence and addiction.
Types of Anxiety Disorders
Anxiety presents itself in many ways, from a vague sense of continuous dread to a specific fear. Doctors have identified several types of anxiety disorders, here are the most common ones:
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD): Individuals with GAD have an almost continuous sense of dread without a specific focus. They will experience persistent and powerful fears beyond “typical worry.”
- Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD): It is common for SAD to be present with other anxiety disorders. People with social anxiety will have an unreasonable fear of interaction with others, appearing in crowded places, social activities, speaking before an audience, and general interactions with other people.
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): Any form of a traumatic event can cause PTSD, such as military combat, violent crime, natural disaster, or sexual assault. Symptoms include nightmares, irritability, anger, hypervigilance, paranoia, insomnia, and flashbacks to the even.
- Panic Disorder: Panic attacks cause uncontrollable, overwhelming terror and can feel like impending death or a sense of doom. Physical symptoms manifest as sweating, dizziness, nausea, rapid heartbeat, hyperventilation, chest pain, and other side effects. Like other anxiety disorders, these are not found in any natural danger source.
Signs and Symptoms of Anxiety Disorder
All anxiety disorders have certain common signs and symptoms, which include:
- A disturbing fear occurring most days of the week for six or more months. This fear interferes with daily life, including job performance and relationships.
- The use of alcohol, drugs or tobacco, or behaviors like overeating to manage anxiety symptoms
- Rapid heartbeat
- Chest pain
- Nausea, dizziness, stomach pain
- Sweating or clamminess
- Choking sensation
Why Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders Should be Treated in Tandem
Anxiety is not the only mental illness that many people try to self-medicate with drugs and alcohol. Many people in recovery deal with a mental illness, whether the disorder brought on the addiction or gave rise to the mental health disorder. This is what is referred to as dual diagnosis. Either way, anxiety and substance use disorder need to be treated together in recovery. This can help get to the root of addiction and help individuals find better ways to cope with their feelings than using substances, which allows them to recover long-term through anxiety and addiction treatment in Fort Lauderdale.
Dual Diagnosis Treatment for Anxiety and Addiction in Fort Lauderdale
If you or a loved one needs anxiety and addiction treatment in Fort Lauderdale, Legacy Healing Center can help you find the help you need. Our comprehensive and personalized treatment plans have helped many find long-term sobriety. We offer dual diagnosis treatment in Fort Lauderdale to help those battling addiction and anxiety get the simultaneous care they need. If you would like more information on how Legacy Healing Center can help you, please give us a call at 888.511.8676 today. One of our addiction specialists will be happy to answer any questions you may have.