Alcohol Abuse and Anxiety Treatment 2019-03-20T15:57:21+00:00

Mountain Springs Recovery

Mountain Springs Recovery

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Alcohol Abuse and Anxiety Treatment

When both disorders occur simultaneously, anxiety and alcohol abuse can most likely end up as a vicious cycle. The reason why these conditions can end up as such is that most people drink alcohol to become relaxed and forget their anxiety, while excessive alcohol consumption can eventually lead one to severe anxiety attacks. As such, both conditions present a dilemma.

On top of these, it’s easy for an individual to develop dual diagnosis or co-occurring conditions because of anxiety and alcohol use disorder, hence, he might be required to get admitted to an inpatient alcohol rehab.

Important Things You Need To Know About Alcohol Abuse Disorder and Anxiety

According to the US National Library of Medicine, approximately 18 million of the whole American population were suffering from AUD or alcohol use disorder. This only means that this huge part of the population drinks such volume of alcohol that is enough to bring harm or stress on a loved one or their very own lives. An individual who has AUD may be having tolerance, physical dependence, or difficulty controlling their alcohol tolerance levels.

On the other hand, alcohol use disorder can have a direct result like mental, physical, or financial health disorders. Alcoholism, along with alcohol abuse are all kinds of AUD. They also co-occur along with post-traumatic stress, depression, or anxiety. If you have known some people suffering from AUD, you will observe that they act completely normal, unless when are drunk or are still drinking. Then again, even in these states, you still can’t find out whether or not their drinking habits are already becoming a problem.

At certain points of people’s lives, they might have experienced a certain level of anxiety. Whether they’re walking through a cold and dark alley, answering an exam questionnaire, or by simply delivering a speech, they experience some kind of fear or threat towards their well-being. For a person going through an anxiety disorder, this fear does not simply go away. As a matter of fact, they can get even worse as time goes by.

Most of the time, people who are suffering from this type of disorder might have also experienced issues with their school or work performance, relationships, and sleep patterns. These are different common anxiety types:

  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Panic disorder
  • Phobias
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder

At any rate, it is primarily significant to deal with both the substance abuse and mental condition to address the dual diagnosis or co-occurring condition. If these conditions can’t be addressed, these can both end up in worsening mental and physical condition or relapse.

Dual diagnosis in inpatient alcohol rehab can help the patient get simultaneous treatment for both his alcohol abuse problem and the accompanying mental condition.

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In What Way Are Anxiety and Alcohol Abuse Linked?

It’s not very clear which among alcohol use disorder and anxiety disorder came first. In most cases,  substance abuse disorder occurs independently of the anxiety problem. However, people are actually very different. They all have varying reasons for using alcohol so there’s no all-encompassing reason that can prompt understanding such pattern. Among a number of people, their anxiety disorder is a direct cause of their alcohol abuse problem. On some, they have resorted to alcohol abuse to cope up with their anxiety disorder. As a result, they binge drink or consume alcohol in huge volumes over a prolonged period of time.

In an article published by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, people with anxiety disorders can observe that their condition is easily worsened by their alcohol abuse and other substance abuse patterns. The bad news is that despite this tendency, they are more prone to abuse alcohol and other substances at certain points of their lives compared to the rest of the population.

Furthermore, it was also revealed that approximately 20% of the entire American population has a mood disorder, anxiety, or depression and are also suffering from alcohol and other substance abuse disorder. Consequently, also approximately 20% of those having a substance abuse problem or alcohol use disorder also suffers from a co-occurring mood disorder or anxiety problem.

Being identified as a habitual alcohol misuse, alcohol abuse can be a challenge to control for most people. However, for an individual who moderately drinks, say a mug of beer or a single glass of wine, alcohol misuse is not a problem. In most observed cases, alcohol abuse only becomes a serious concern

How do we know if a person has a co-occurring disorder?

It is quite hard to tell, by mere looking or mere observation if a person is suffering from alcohol use disorder and also has anxiety management issues. More often than not, the most efficient way to discover and deal with the matter is to speak to someone who knows what it feels like to be in such a compromising situation. If you are experiencing these symptoms yourself, you might have been even more anxious with the uncertainty and constant fear of your condition.

All along you were thinking that alcohol is merely helping you to cope up with your stressors but you have failed to realize that the same substance also led you to an inpatient alcohol rehab for dual diagnosis.

For most people, this is the time wherein they feel they seeking the help and care of professionals is the best way to address the problem.

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How do we know if a person has a co-occurring disorder?

It is quite hard to tell, by mere looking or mere observation if a person is suffering from alcohol use disorder and also has anxiety management issues. More often than not, the most efficient way to discover and deal with the matter is to speak to someone who knows what it feels like to be in such a compromising situation. If you are experiencing these symptoms yourself, you might have been even more anxious with the uncertainty and constant fear of your condition.

All along you were thinking that alcohol is merely helping you to cope up with your stressors but you have failed to realize that the same substance also led you to an inpatient alcohol rehab for dual diagnosis.

For most people, this is the time wherein they feel they seeking the help and care of professionals is the best way to address the problem.

AUD (Alcohol Use Disorder) and Anxiety Disorder

Anxiety and alcohol use disorders are both similar in a way that they can adversely limit an individual’s capacity to do more with his life. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the following questions can help an individual check whether or not they are, or a loved one, is struggling with AUD:

  • Were there instances when you drank more than or longer than you originally planned?
  • Have you tried stopping or cutting down on drinking more than once but wasn’t successful in doing so?
  • Have you been spending a huge chunk of your time on drinking?
  • Have you been sick because of drinking too much? Did you suffer after-effects of too much alcohol intake?
  • Have you experienced a very strong desire or urge to drink?
  • Were there instances when you discovered that drinking itself, or the effect of being sick after having too much to drink, interfered with your role as a parent/spouse/employee/student/friend?
  • Did you still continue to drink despite knowing that the said habit is causing problems with your relationships with your friends and family?
  • Have you cut or have completely given up on activities, hobbies, and other things that were once interesting, important, and pleasurable to you so that you can have more time and resources to drink?
  • Have you ever tried, more than once, to experience getting hurt while doing certain activities (like engaging in unsafe sex, entering a prohibited and dangerous area, using hazardous equipment and machinery, swimming, or driving) after drinking or while under the influence of booze?
  • Did you still continue drinking despite feeling anxious or depressed after?
  • Have you experienced getting more health problems because of your excessive drinking problem?
  • Have you had a memory blackout after too much drinking?
  • Did you have to drink way more than what you can take and carry just because you can’t reach the effect you desire?
  • Have you observed that the usual drink dosage you have no longer give you the same effects as before?
  • Did you find out that after the alcohol effects wear off, you experience certain withdrawal symptoms like sweating, nausea, restlessness, depression, anxiety, irritability, shakiness, trouble falling asleep?
  • Have you sensed some things that were really not there?

If you answered yes to most or all of these difficult questions, then it could be possible that you are having alcohol use disorder and anxiety. Then again, it is still best to get a dual diagnosis from an inpatient alcohol rehab.

It is very hard to see your loved ones being engulfed by anxiety and alcohol. Also, it’s similarly hard for your loved ones to see you ending up powerless in the face of alcohol. Though feeling uncertain with what will become of you when you totally stay away from alcohol is difficult, know that getting help now is more important than any other form of fear.

There are many nurturing professionals who can help you get a better understanding of your body’s reaction to alcohol. They can also help you all throughout detoxification, treatment, and overcoming alcohol abuse in general.

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If a loved one is suffering from alcohol abuse and anxiety, or any substance abuse issue for that matter, know that it’s not easy for them to open up to you and admit that they need help. More often than not, they would fear that you would get mad and reject them immediately. Opening up to a loved one should be the refuge they seek.

Then again, it cannot be denied that there are times when families and loved ones become too judgmental when dealing with a family member who is struggling with substance abuse. Instead of embracing the person and assuring him that he is not alone in his plight, they shut him off and leave him to succumb to his misery. You must know that this isn’t helping them at all.

Most people who are struggling with substance abuse don’t do it out of sheer will. Life can drag you down and most of them end up with alcohol and drugs to help them cope up with stresses and at worst, with traumatic experiences they have to live with. True help and care can come in a simple form as understanding and embracing what they have become while helping them get through their addiction.

If, on the other hand, it’s you who is struggling with addiction, know that your loved one’s care about you and your life. Admit that you need their help and talk to them about your condition and willingness to seek treatment.

Addiction isn’t an end. Misery, anxiety, depression, and other mental conditions can be overcome with the appropriate diagnosis and treatment programs. Speak to an Addiction Specialist today and explore your or your loved one’s treatment options. There are various treatment programs you can explore. After rehab, you can also still get continuous treatment by aftercare programs that are designed to help you keep your sobriety for a lifetime.

You might struggle along the way and it’s perfectly normal. Addiction treatment and recovery is not a walk in the part. It requires commitment and will to redeem your life, your relationships, and your sobriety. Yes, it may not be easy but it’s most certainly not impossible.

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