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How Anxiety and Addiction Mix

Anxiety disorders affect approximately 40 million American adults per year. Anxiety is a natural emotion of nervousness or fear that everyone experiences at some point in their life. For example, it is not uncommon for an individual to experience anxiety before they speak publicly. But an anxiety disorder is far more common than this particular instance. It can also be a chronic feeling of worry and fear for the individual, at times crippling one’s ability to function normally. When a person experiences anxiety to this degree, it is best to consult a doctor about an anxiety disorder. But many times, people don’t seek help and try to self-medicate, which will complicate matters.

Anxiety disorders are not a one-size fits all diagnosis. There are several different types of these conditions, including panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), social anxiety disorder, specific phobias, and general anxiety disorder. Each of these conditions can be brought on by different experiences. Not to mention, some are temporary while others are chronic. No matter what anxiety disorder someone suffers from, it is an extremely unpleasant experience when an attack strikes.

How Anxiety and Addiction Mix
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Typical symptoms of anxiety disorders include feelings of panic, fear, and uneasiness. Individuals who suffer from these conditions often have uncontrollable, obsessive thoughts and experience repeated flashbacks from traumatic events. These effects correlate with problems sleeping, shortness of breath, dry mouth, difficulty concentrating and physical symptoms such as dizziness and nausea.

Anxiety disorders are difficult for one to cope with on a day-to-day basis, which is why some opt for self-medication, much like depressed individuals do with drugs and alcohol. The short-term effects of substance abuse offer temporary relief to the afflicted, but they do not serve as a long-term solution. On the contrary, self-medication can be extremely dangerous. Instead of receiving help for an anxiety disorder, individuals who self-medicate add substance abuse to their litany of psychological issues.

Anxiety and Addiction Can Be a Problem
Image Courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Prominence Treatment Center has a long track record of treating both anxiety disorders as well as substance abuse. These conditions are treated in conjunction with one another through our dual diagnosis treatment program. Dual diagnosis occurs when an individual suffers from two mental disorders simultaneously. In order to treat one issue, the other must be addressed as well. Dual diagnosis is a delicate process, as treating just one condition won’t have the optimal, long-term impact. Misdiagnosing someone who suffers from two disorders will cause further confusion and potentially jeopardize the client’s ability to trust their therapists with future diagnoses. For this reason, Prominence Treatment Center makes dual diagnosis a serious consideration when assessing an individual’s health conditions.

Even if one is suffering from anxiety disorder with no instance of substance abuse, it is still an unpleasant and trying experience. Prominence Treatment Center is also equipped to treat anxiety as a stand-alone issue. Rest assured, you can trust our world class staff to provide the assistance and compassion you need to overcome this challenging disorder.

It can be difficult for some to understand the extent to which chronic anxiety can affect a person’s life. The condition cripples one’s ability to mentally function or even enjoy the most basic amenities of every day life. If you or someone you love suffers from anxiety disorder, please call one of our representatives at (877) 383-2284 for immediate assistance.


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