Overcoming addiction is a complex process, and it’s one that often requires professional help. However, for many struggling with addiction, there is another obstacle: anxiety. Anxiety disorders are among the most common mental health conditions, and they can make it very difficult to cope with the stress and triggers of everyday life. Managing anxiety can be a full-time job for someone trying to recover from addiction. That’s why dual diagnosis treatment programs are so important.
These programs provide comprehensive care for both addiction and anxiety, giving people the best chance of recovery. With the right help, anyone can overcome addiction and build a healthy, happy life. At Michael’s House, we understand the complex relationship between anxiety and addiction. Our anxiety and addiction treatment in Palm Springs incorporates evidence-based therapeutic techniques to address both disorders effectively. Don’t hesitate to contact us at 760.548.4032 to learn more about anxiety and addiction treatment.
The Link Between Anxiety and Addiction
Feeling consistently worried, jumpy, or stressed can be simply exhausting. People with anxiety disorders may become so disabled that they merely cannot get through an ordinary day. Their fear paralyzes them. Substances of use might seem to provide some avenue of relief, at least temporarily. Substances like cocaine and heroin might help people with anxiety to fall asleep, which they might find extremely difficult to do without help. Other drugs of use, such as cocaine and methamphetamine, might help people with anxiety to feel as though they’re powerful and in control, and this might help the anxious feelings to fade.
Unfortunately, people who lean on substances for anxiety control may find that their coping skills cause more harm than help. Substances such as alcohol and cocaine can cause an increase in feelings of anxiety when addicted people attempt to stop taking them. People who use these drugs for anxiety control may find that they’re on an endless roller coaster, using drugs to control anxiety, feeling an increase in anxiety when they try to stop using, and then reverting to drug use again. It’s no wonder that the Anxiety and Depression Association of America reports that 20% of Americans with an anxiety or mood disorder have a substance use disorder. This type of cycle is persistent and hard to overcome without help.
How Can Anxiety and Addiction Treatment Help?
Anxiety and addiction are both challenging issues to deal with. They can make you feel isolated and like you’re not in control of your life. However, there is help available. Anxiety and addiction treatment can give you the tools to manage your symptoms and start living a healthier, more fulfilling life.
Treatment usually starts with anxiety and addiction counseling. This can help you understand your thoughts and feelings and how to manage them in a healthy way. Counseling can provide people with the tools they need to manage their anxiety and addiction and help them to understand the root causes of their anxiety and addiction. Therapies often used with anxiety and addiction treatment can include:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Relapse prevention therapy
- Dialectical behavior therapy
- Group therapy
You may also be prescribed medication to help control your symptoms. Anxiety and addiction treatment can be very effective in helping you live a happier, more fulfilling life.
Anxiety and Addiction Therapy Approaches
Multiple therapy types can be used to treat anxiety disorders, and the therapy type chosen typically depends heavily on the kind of anxiety disorder the person has. However, almost all therapy types attempt to challenge these negative thoughts and help people to come up with replacement ideas that are both positive and reassuring.
For example, behavioral psychotherapy teaches patients to use breathing techniques when anxiety strikes, replacing the shallow, fast breaths that accompany fear with the slow, deep breaths that come with sleep. The heart rate slows, the muscles relax, and the anxiety seems to fade. Cognitive-behavioral therapy might also help people to label their thoughts as destructive and take them apart directly, confronting the destruction instead of masking the pain.
In therapy, patients might also be provided with tools they can use to identify cravings for drugs. Anxious feelings might be a trigger, but specific places or even particular people might also cause a spike in the need for substances to take place. Therapists work hard to help their patients spot these weak areas in their recovery plans and develop tools they can use when a relapse seems imminent. Working through therapy for anxiety is complex. While the therapy rarely takes years to complete, it’s common for people with anxiety and addiction to spending 90 days or more in their treatment programs.
Getting Support for Anxiety and Addiction
Anxiety disorders can be isolating, especially if people genuinely believe that no one else in the world can understand the issue and provide needed guidance and help when things get bad. Support groups can provide meaningful help. Some support groups have an educational component, allowing people to understand the specific issues they face more firmly. In contrast, other support groups are strictly supportive, providing emotional help without lessons.
People with anxiety and addictions may benefit from addiction-based support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous® (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous® (NA), or they may benefit from anxiety support groups. It can take some trial and error to find the right support group. Some meetings are targeted at specific age groups or specific cultural groups, and some meetings don’t seem like a good fit. There’s no shame in experimenting, going to a few sample meetings of several different groups to find the right match. Most groups don’t require registration or attendance fees, so this experimentation is relatively easy.
Find Help for Anxiety and Addiction at Michael's House
We’ve helped many patients better understand addiction and anxiety at Michael’s House. We’ve developed a tailored approach to provide the proper treatment at the right time to help patients recover. Some spend time in our detoxification center, where they are treated by consulting physicians and then move on to an inpatient program. Others access help on an outpatient basis. Don’t hesitate to contact us directly, and let us start the enrollment process.