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Anxiety Disorder and How it Can Lead to Addiction

Symptoms of Anxiety Disorder, Anxiety Disorder and How it Can Lead to Addiction, Anxiety and Addiction

It’s common to hear people talk about having anxiety. Most of them probably refer to the  normal, healthy emotion that’s meant to help support your body’s ability to problem-solve and move through difficult situations effectively.

It’s when anxiety becomes chronic and seems unrelated to external circumstances that problems arise. Anxiety disorder is a condition that can derail your quality of life and, for some, lead to the risk of substance use disorder (SUD).

Can Anxiety Cause Substance Use Disorder?

The simple answer here is yes. For many people with anxiety disorder, the use of substances like alcohol or drugs feels necessary to manage their symptoms. You may need a drink before that big meeting, for example. Or, you may feel you need to take some pills to help you calm down after a long day.

Anxiety is a mental health disorder that can impact every facet of your life. Turning to substances as a type of self-medication isn’t uncommon. Yet, it is very dangerous. Substance use disorder in itself is a disease that can change the course of your life.

Knowing these facts, what should you do? What steps can you take to minimize your risks?

Symptoms of Anxiety Disorder

Anxiety disorder occurs when temporary worries and fears linger even after the external trigger has ended. There are various forms of anxiety, but some of the most common symptoms of anxiety disorder include the following, according to the National Institute of Mental Health:

  • Feelings of restlessness or being wound up all of the time
  • Trouble controlling your feelings of worrying
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Being tired often, even with routine rest
  • Physical pain, including muscle aches, headaches, or other unexplained injuries
  • Being irritable

For some, anxiety disorder may manifest in the form of a panic disorder. In this situation, you may feel symptoms such as a racing, pounding heart, chest pain, and feelings of doom. For others, the anxiety is in response to very specific triggers, such as social situations or to some type of phobia, including fear of flying, heights, or animals.

Anxiety disorders interrupt or limit your ability to manage your needs, goals, and objectives. If you feel crippled by your worried thoughts, you could be suffering from anxiety disorder.

How Anxiety and Addiction Co-Occur

Having both anxiety and addiction means you’re struggling with co-occurring disorders. As noted, one of the most common reasons people develop drug and alcohol addictions is to control symptoms of an anxiety disorder. Yet, over time, the substances do less to help your symptoms (and often make them worse), even as your body and mind become dependent on the substances to function. 

It’s also worth noting that addiction can lead to anxiety disorders. The consistent use of substances will change the brain’s chemistry, making it more difficult to manage stressful situations. In addition, substance use disorder can lead to problems in relationships, careers, and finances that cause even more anxiety. 

How to Deal with Anxiety and Addiction

If you are facing addiction and anxiety, it’s best to seek out professional treatment that addresses both conditions at the same time. If only one aspect of your health is treated, that ultimately leads to relapse since the other disorder still lingers. With dual diagnosis treatment, we can address both conditions at the same time, providing you with treatment and long-term relief.

Dual diagnosis involves treating your brain and your body for both conditions in a positive and supportive manner. Our team works very closely with you to ensure you go through the proper steps, which may include a phase of detox as well as medication for serious anxiety disorder.

Set Up a Consultation with Us Today to Get the Help You Need

If you feel you have the signs of alcohol addiction or the signs of anxiety and depression, take action now. Reach out to our drug and alcohol addiction treatment center at Iron Bridge Recovery Center now. Let us offer you a treatment plan that addresses both conditions at the same time.

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