Understanding Anxiety Disorders

anxiety-seacliffEveryone experiences anxiety from time to time. Whether you’re nervous about a big test or presentation, worried about something that happened (or might happen), or are faced with interacting with a large group of people, it’s normal to feel a little anxious. However, once the event has passed, so too does the anxiety. Many people are able to recognize why they’re anxious and work through it, not letting it interfere too much with their day.

For people who have anxiety disorders, though, the anxious or nervous feeling doesn’t quickly pass. It may linger and become worse. It may actually keep people from doing things that they enjoy or from engaging in different activities. Controlling their anxiety is difficult. Fortunately, there is treatment available and anxiety disorders can be managed. Seacliff provides treatment for mental illness and substance use disorders to help clients lead healthier lives and build a brighter future.

Types of Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety manifests itself in different ways. The term anxiety disorder is an umbrella that encompasses several different types of anxiety. While some people experience panic attacks, others become nervous and restless in certain social situations. Researchers believe that both genetic and environmental components contribute to anxiety disorders. Some common types include:

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder
  • Panic Disorder
  • Social Anxiety Disorder
  • Agoraphobia
  • Specific Phobias
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is also closely related to anxiety disorders

While these disorders can be disruptive to your life, effective treatment through therapy and other evidence-based approaches can help you to manage symptoms and live a life you love. Your anxiety does not have to control your life.

When Anxiety and Addiction are Co-Occurring

One of the challenges that some people face with anxiety is addiction. When these two disorders are co-occurring, it can have a greater impact on your life and make treatment even more important. Anxiety and addiction can become a vicious cycle, one always feeding into the other. Treating both conditions simultaneously at Seacliff can help you to better understand the interrelated nature of an anxiety disorder and addiction and how they impact your life. You’ll be able to develop strategies and coping mechanisms that address both disorders.

If one is left untreated, it can increase risk of the other returning because one of the major underlying factors have not been addressed. When both are treated together, you can figure out what works best for you in controlling your anxiety while also managing your addiction recovery. In turn, you can be more proactive in reducing risk of relapse and achieving the goals you set for yourself.

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What is the Connection Between Anxiety Disorder and Addiction?

Anxiety disorders and addiction can go hand-in-hand. Some people use drugs or alcohol as a way of coping with the symptoms of anxiety. While these substances may provide temporary relief, they are not a long-term solution and may actually exacerbate symptoms making anxiety worse. Continued substance use can lead to dependency and addiction. Some people may also find that the effects of addiction can increase their anxiety making an anxiety disorder more noticeable.

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, “About 20 percent of Americans with an anxiety or mood disorder such as depression have an alcohol or other substance use disorder, and about 20 percent of those with an alcohol or substance use disorder also have an anxiety or mood disorder.” While there are plenty of people who experience one or the other, there are also many who experience both. Recognizing the presence of mental illness can allow you to find a treatment program for co-occurring disorders that best fits your needs.

Signs and Symptoms of Anxiety

Depending on the type of anxiety disorder that you have, the signs and symptoms of anxiety can differ. Common symptoms include having difficulty controlling your worry, episodes of intense fear, trouble sleeping, irritability, extreme self-consciousness in front of others, avoiding social engagements, or experiencing irrational fears. When experiencing these symptoms, some people have a hard time catching their breath, their heartbeat quickens, they start sweating or trembling, and they have trouble concentrating. These are just a few of the signs of an anxiety disorder.

Anxiety Treatment Center

You don’t have to let anxiety or addictions control your life. You can turn things around and feel more in control by seeking help at a dual diagnosis treatment center like Seacliff. Seacliff provides dual diagnosis treatment for anxiety and substance use disorders so that you can get your life back on track and pursue your goals with more confidence. You’ll learn the skills and strategies necessary to overcome addiction and mental illness and sustain long-term recovery.


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