In the last decade, anxiety has surpassed depression as being the number one mental health issue that people face. According to the World Economic Forum, 275 million people worldwide suffer from anxiety-related disorders. That’s roughly 4% of the world’s global population with 62% of those suffering being female and 38% of them male.
Anxiety has become an epidemic in modern-day society. Anxiety is a fight or flight response that your body naturally engineers during times of stress. It is a biological response that helped our ancestors during times of great danger.
Now, we all tend to have anxiety in one way or another. Normal anxiety is a feeling of uneasiness on what’s to come. It is felt before a major event, like giving a big speech in front of a crowd or moving to a new city. These circumstances can make people feel nervous or afraid, which is completely natural. Therefore, there is nothing alarming about occasional anxiety- it is a mode of survival- three parts confident, one part anxious.
However, an anxiety disorder is something totally different; it is a constant feeling of fearful apprehension or nervousness. It can manifest itself in avoidance behavior and being sensitive to sudden loud noises.
Anxiety disorder can manifest itself so completely that it becomes impossible to even cross the street, be in closed-off spaces, or even leave your house. It can be debilitating, and in severe circumstances leave people disabled and unable to cope with the outside world.
As such, it is crucial to start treating anxiety in its early stages so that it does not spiral out of control.
Anxiety disorders include generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and numerous phobia-related disorders, among others.
People with a generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) experience an excessive anxiety response or worry about a variety of topics for at least 6 months, including personal health, employment, social interactions, and ordinary life situations. Fear and anxiety can lead to serious problems in social interactions, education, and the workplace.
Symptoms of a generalized anxiety disorder include:
Panic disorder is characterized by frequent, unpredictable panic attacks. Panic attacks are brief bursts of acute terror that begin suddenly and culminate within minutes. Attacks can happen out of nowhere or as a result of a trigger, such as a location or circumstance.
People with panic disorder are constantly concerned about when their next attack will occur, and they actively strive to avoid them by avoiding places, events, or behaviors that they correlate with panic attacks. The fear of panic episodes, as well as the effort expended to avoid them, can cause considerable problems in a person’s life, such as the emergence of agoraphobia.
People may feel the following symptoms during a panic attack:
A phobia is a strong dislike or fear of a specific thing or situation. While it is understandable to feel uncomfortable in some situations, the dread experienced by persons with phobias is out of proportion to the actual risk posed by the situation or object.
People who suffer from phobias tend to:
Phobias and phobia-related conditions come in a variety of forms. For instance, simple phobias (sometimes referred to as specific phobias).
People who have a specific phobia have an acute dread of, or anxiety about, particular things or circumstances, as the name suggests. Fears of the following things are examples of specific phobias:
Both genetic and environmental factors appear to have a role in the development of anxiety disorders and addiction, according to research. Although the risk factors for each form of anxiety disorder differ, there are certain common risk factors that apply to all anxiety disorders.
The following are some broad risk factors for all types of anxiety disorders:
The point of intersection between anxiety and addiction is found in what the medical community refers to as a “dual diagnosis”. Addiction can be aggravated by underlying mental health concerns.
If you have both an addiction problem and another mental health condition, like anxiety disorder, you are considered to have a “dual diagnosis” in the medical profession. As a result, addiction can exacerbate the severity of other mental health problems. This sets in motion a vicious cycle in which your addiction worsens swiftly and has serious repercussions. For a brief period of time, one may believe that alcohol or drugs alleviate one’s anxiety symptoms. Nevertheless, addiction will almost certainly make things worse in the long run.
The good thing is that there are a variety of successful ways and services for identifying, treating, and managing substance use problems and disorders. According to research, intervening early, before the condition progresses, is the most efficient method to treat someone with a substance use problem and in danger of developing an addiction.
Counselors utilize CBT to treat a range of addictions, and it is one of the most prominent therapy in addiction medicine.The goal of cognitive behavioral therapy is to learn how to lessen the negative behaviors that come with substance dependence. Anticipating risky situations and using coping skills such as avoidance or self-control to prevent relapse is a central element in CBT.
The Matrix model provides a framework for people recovering from stimulant addiction to stay abstinent. It’s mostly used in people who are trying to rehabilitate from methamphetamine or cocaine addiction.
The Matrix model of treatment includes a number of evidence-based therapies that encourage the prevention of relapse and promotes family therapy, education, and participation in support groups. The patient is frequently given extensive worksheets or manuals to refer to during therapy sessions.
Exposure therapy is a type of behavioral therapy that is commonly used to help people who are suffering from phobias or anxiety disorders. It entails a person confronting their fears, whether imagined or real, in a secure atmosphere with the help of a qualified therapist. It has been proved to be successful and can be utilized with people of all ages.
A person is exposed to a circumstance, event, or object that causes them anxiety, terror, or panic in exposure therapy. Controlled exposure to a trigger by a trusted person in a safe location over time can reduce anxiety or panic.
Exposure therapy in addiction can look like a person being afraid to walk down a specific street where he/she buys drugs or where people are getting high such as bars. Thus, therapy exposes the person to such situations long enough for them to get through them, ensuring that new neural connections are made that promote relapse prevention.
Breath Control Therapy (BCT) is a somatic-based practice that combines breathing exercises heavily influenced by scientifically proven Western medical science and psychotherapy approaches with ancient Eastern breathing practices and philosophies to promote physical, psychological, and spiritual healing.
Many health difficulties typically connected with addiction are rooted in unaddressed emotional issues. Therefore, this therapy can be a successful non-pharmacological alternative for a variety of psychological problems, disorders, ailments, and concerns.
Comprehensive rehab centers that include mental health and addiction services are the answer to anxiety and substance abuse. While anxiety treatment was traditionally separated from substance abuse treatment, research now suggests that providing integrated therapies that address both issues at the same time is the most effective strategy to help clients with dual diagnoses.
Those seeking recovery/restoration plans for both anxiety and addiction can:
If you are suffering from anxiety and substance abuse, we are here to help. Our compassionate and professional team understands where you are as they have been there before. Call today so we can help you get the help you need.
Get confidential help 24/7. Call now for:
Magnified Health Systems aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.