Handling Anxiety During Recovery

Nearly everyone deals with anxiety at some stage in their lives which can be manipulative and cause a person to develop negative thoughts. Sometimes, people may not realize they struggle with anxiety until they experience something like a panic attack.

Substance abuse is a seemingly quick and easy fix for people that struggle with this anxiety. What often happens with these people is they start to rely on substances in order to cope with their anxiety and if they try to quit, their anxiety may even worsen. This only encourages them to steer clear of recovery and stick with substance abuse. Today, we’re going to talk about anxiety and what to do about it during recovery.

Types of Anxiety Disorders 

Anxiety may represent itself from a profound sense of constant fear to a specific, paralyzing fear in many ways. A variety of forms of anxiety disorders are found and each requires a multipurpose care strategy. Some of the most severe disorders are as follows:

Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)

The person suffers from an almost constant, unspecific sense of dread in this form of anxiety. With GAD, problems shift without any apparent connection from one subject to another. GAD individuals may reject their attachments as “typical concerns,” but in reality, their fears are much stronger and more pervasive than the fears we all regularly have. However, these fears often have little or no basis in reality, regardless of how powerful they might be.

Social anxiety disorder (SAD)

Individuals with a social anxiety disorder – often called social phobia – avoid communicating with others. About 15 million Americans are affected by this disorder, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. These people often develop negative emotions towards crowded places, taking part in social activities, performing to crowds, and anything involving a lot of human interaction.

SAD may go hand in hand with other anxieties, such as panic disorders which can trigger episodes of intense fear or agoraphobia in public places, the fear of places or circumstances that make the person feel helpless or out of control.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Personal experiences may contribute to a person’s likelihood to have a disorder. It could be a natural disaster, seeing a violent crime, or sexual assault. Anxiety disorders are common for veterans who encountered severe combat experiences. Around 8 million veterans who suffer from PSTD regularly experience hallucinations, delusions, irritability, insomnia, and anxiety, as reported by The Department of Veterans Affairs of The United States    

Panic disorder

The characteristics of panic disorder are periods of intense and relentless fear. While panic attacks are rarely fatal, a person with one of them can suffer an overwhelming feeling of doom and dread. Physical symptoms can include hyperventilation, fast heartbeat, swelling, dizziness, diarrhea, vomiting, chest pain, freezing, etc. Such panic attacks, like other fear responses, are not typically based on a real source of risk.

Psychology today says that about 1 million individuals experience panic attacks daily and that each event lasts an average of 10 minutes. In reality, apprehension of panic attacks is one of the most common causes of these episodes.

Causes of Anxiety

Research suggests that an individual is more than likely to develop an anxiety disorder through biological, psychological and environmental factors. Among genetic reasons, often people with these disorders react differently to stress than the general population.

Researches reveal an abnormally high sensitivity to stress and unfamiliar situations of the brain which processes fear in people with anxiety problems. In brain disorders, chemicals are known as neurotransmitters also play a major role. In particular, serotonin and cortisol seem to be linked to depression and anxiety sensations.

Genetics and family history are important risk factors. Around 50% of panic-affected people and 40% of individuals with acute anxiety have a family history of the diseases. Substance abuse can lead to disturbances in anxiety. 

Research shows that changes in fear and the use of substances arise at higher rates than average. Gender and age are additional risk factors for anxiety disorders. Women are twice as likely to develop anxiety disorders when compared to men. Signs of OCD, phobias, and fear over separation emerge in young people and signs of hysteria and social phobia occur in younger years.

Intense responses of body and mind are triggered by anxiety. Anxiety responses can never be identified and may not be treated. Anxiety, physical and psychological, is manifested in two ways.

The symptoms of physical and psychological manifestations are similar to the symptoms of drug and alcohol withdrawal. A dependent automatically looks for substances to soothe anxiety. Avoiding unpleasant physical agitation and painful emotions are some components of addiction and anxiety. The more the person continues to use drugs and/or alcohol, anxiety and addiction become stronger.

Treatment During Recovery

Dual diagnosis is the treatment of mental disorders and substance abuse disorders. A compressive drug treatment scheme will have a dual diagnostic pathway that simultaneously addresses these two problems.

A collaborative team of doctors, nurses, therapists, and behavioral counselors should be involved in addictive treatment, who can support the addicted through the detox and therapeutic process. When a person is addicted to alcohol and/or medication detox, the number of anxieties will inevitably increase. As a result, an addict either avoids symptoms of retirement through continued use or is highly at risk of recurring after detox.

Both symptoms need to be treated simultaneously because of the similarity of drug withdrawals and the symptoms. It is appropriate to seek alcohol and/or drug detox treatment center and a drug abuse treatment program under one roof. 

Drugs do not treat anxiety, but can alleviate symptoms. The combination of medication with therapy is often more effective. Cognitive therapy can help people to adapt their response to circumstances that can cause it or change their way of perceiving threats and treating them. If patients are prepared they may be subjected to concerns that they might desensitize them or help them to handle them. Only when a patient is comfortable and ready is exposure therapy done.

Exercise is essential to treat stress hormones produced by the body in response to anxiety. The advantages include boosting the sensation of good chemicals and a long relaxation state, the perfect answer to these disorders. Keep in mind always that you have never been alone, especially when dealing with anxiety. Continued self-care habits can enhance the impact of life to enhance its control.