An anxiety disorder is a mental health disorder where an individual feels constant, excessive, and extreme anxiety and fear. This progresses to the point that they need an anxiety treatment program. We all experience anxiety and fear at some point in our lives; it is a natural human response to danger or imminent threats to ourselves or another individual. This fear can be powerful and occur, even if the threat is only an imagined one. Fear can also present itself in anticipation of a harmful event occurring.
These emotions are natural and have an essential value. They have evolved as a critical mechanism of self-protection. When individuals experience these feelings persistently and unrelentingly, however, they can have the opposite effect on individuals. Instead of protecting them from harm, they can take a toll on a person’s work and social lives and their educational opportunities and also cause extreme pain and suffering.
Benefits of an Anxiety Treatment Program
Anxiety is classified into several discrete sub-types which are defined by the source of the anxiety. For example, a person may suffer from separation anxiety (fear of being separated from a loved one), a phobia (fear of a specific object), social anxiety (fear of social participation), panic attacks (sudden, overpowering fear) or general anxiety (persistent fear that may have many different points of origin), to name only a few of the major types of anxiety.
Despite the many variations of anxiety, most anxiety complexes share many common symptoms and traits. Foremost, all forms of clinical anxiety will cause emotional and physical suffering which ultimately will erode the individual’s quality of life. The symptoms of an untreated anxiety disorder can be painful and, for some, crippling, leading people with anxiety to self-medicate as a means of coping. Drugs and alcohol, however, add new and specific physical and emotional problems of their own and, in virtually all cases, will intensify the symptoms of anxiety which individuals are experiencing.
Anxiety and Drugs or Alcohol
Not only do drugs and alcohol have their own adverse symptoms in the short-term that must be dealt with, but also they invite long-term health problems, including dependency and addiction. The combination of anxiety, dependency, and addiction often creates a vicious cycle where the drugs you take increase your anxiety symptoms, and you require more and more drugs to manage your now more severe mental health problems. The result is almost always serious medical problems, the risk of overdose and accidental death.
Treating anxiety when you have a co-occurring substance abuse problem requires a anxiety treatment program that also treats addiction. Substance abuse makes it problematic for your psychologist or therapist to isolate your symptoms, preventing an accurate diagnosis and delaying vital treatment. Any attempt to stop using drugs and alcohol on your own, however, will be all but impossible when you have a mental health condition, such as anxiety, which makes the likelihood of a relapse extremely high. In all cases where an individual has a co-occurring disorder, they will need a medically-supervised detox, comprehensive rehab and individualized therapy. If you have anxiety and a substance use problem, you can get the care you need to regain your health at Bayview Recovery.