Anxiety disorders provide a real challenge for those trying to cope with them. When coupled with an addiction to drugs and alcohol, a person can feel hopeless when trying to address both anxiety and addiction. Phoenix Rising treats mental health conditions such as anxiety while also providing high quality evidence-based treatment at our inpatient anxiety treatment centers in California. By treating both anxiety and addiction simultaneously, a person’s quality of life improves, along with their ability to stay sober and manage symptoms of anxiety.
What Are Anxiety Disorders?
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) reports that the most common mental illness in the U.S. is anxiety disorders. Forty million adults in the country suffer from an anxiety disorder. Sadly, less than 37% of those struggling with an anxiety disorder seek help.
Anxiety is a part of the body’s natural fight or flight response. When there is a clear and present danger, our natural survival instincts kick into overdrive. The brain sends a signal to the body that it should be on high alert, in order to flee or fight. However, for some people, this autoresponse doesn’t work as it should and the brain misfires and sends out distress warnings when they are not necessary.
When you feel a fight or flight response, and there is no reasonable cause or explanation, it likely is symptomatic of an anxiety disorder. Anxiety is a chemical overreaction to an event that would be insignificant to others. Many people become fearful of having a panic attack and begin avoiding places and situations in which they previously experienced one. If left untreated, anxiety disorders can contribute to a significantly diminished quality of life.
Signs and Symptoms of Anxiety
Many different symptoms can occur as a result of anxiety disorders. Some can happen after a visual or experiential trigger, while others occur seemingly out of nowhere. Residential anxiety treatment centers in California teach clients how to manage and reduce their symptoms, which allows them to lead more full and rewarding lives.
Some of the most common symptoms of anxiety disorders include:
- Shallow breathing
- Sleeping too much
- Difficulty concentrating
- Digestive problems
- Numbness of extremities
- Feeling faint
Along with physical symptoms, people often experience ones related to their emotions and behaviors. These can include:
- A sense of impending doom
- Difficulty interacting with others
- Struggling with maintaining or entering new friendships or relationships
- Making excuses to avoid interacting with others
Types of Anxiety Disorders
A person suffering from an anxiety disorder can find professional, lasting treatment from an anxiety treatment center in California. There are five major types of anxiety disorders. These include:
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Generalized anxiety disorders involve persistent, unsettling worries about specific aspects of a person’s life. An individual may worry about their health, relationships, or children, even though there is little or no specific reason to be alarmed. This apprehension is constant, overwhelming, and interferes with their quality of life.
Panic disorders involve experiencing unexpected episodes of fear accompanied by physical effects, such as shortness of breath, shaking, heart palpitations, dizziness, and chest pain. These episodes happen repeatedly and often without warning. The fear often cannot be tied to an actual stressor but instead happens as a symptom of the panic disorder.
Social Anxiety Disorder
Social anxiety disorders cause you to avoid large groups of people or public places. For example, a person with this disorder may prefer to shop online or skip important gatherings out of fear of feeling anxious, rather than a sense of convenience. When they interact with others in person, they may experience physical reactions of anxiety that do not have a logical explanation.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
OCD causes a person to experience obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors. The thoughts are recurring, often unwanted, and difficult to stop focusing on. The behaviors are often performed with great repetition, such as washing their hands or cleaning things. The person may feel as if not performing the behaviors will cause something bad to happen. OCD interferes with a person’s daily activities and social interactions.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
PTSD develops after an individual has experienced singular or repeated traumatic events. These events can include being in an accident, an act of military action, a natural disaster, physical or sexual assault, or witnessing someone else experience trauma. PTSD can cause flashbacks and a great deal of anxiety when the traumatic event is remembered or discussed.
Risk Factors of Anxiety Disorders
Several factors can contribute to the risk of developing an anxiety disorder. These include:
- Genetic predisposition: Mental illnesses can run in the family, including anxiety disorders.
- Exposure to trauma: People who experience traumatic events or witness others who experience them are at a higher risk of developing anxiety disorders.
- Substance abuse: Addiction to drugs or alcohol experienced at an early stage of life is six times more likely to result in an anxiety disorder later in life. Withdrawal during the detox process can also trigger regular feelings of anxiety.
- Stress: One stressful event or a series of smaller ones often triggers anxiety, which can turn into a full-blown anxiety disorder.
- Poor health: When a person deals with a chronic illness or a series of health issues, it can cause them to develop anxiety that becomes out of control.
- Presence of other mental illnesses: Someone who has a mental illness is often prone to developing more than one. For example, someone with depression or bipolar disorder may also develop an anxiety disorder.
The Link Between Anxiety and Substance Abuse Disorders
About half of people who have an addiction to drugs or alcohol also have a mental illness. When both addiction and mental illness are present, this is called a dual diagnosis. People seeking help from inpatient anxiety treatment centers in California often need help for both their anxiety and addiction.
People who suffer from mental illnesses often end up using alcohol or drugs to try to reduce or avoid the symptoms of their mental health conditions. Someone struggling with depression may start abusing alcohol in hopes of elevating their moods, not realizing that alcohol is a depressant and can increase their symptoms. People often use substances like alcohol, opiates, and benzodiazepines to help numb themselves so they don’t feel anxiety or experience traumatic flashbacks.
Rather than cure the mental illness, the substances serve to mask the problem and even intensify the symptoms. The individual often increases their substance use to try to make up for this, placing themselves in a vicious cycle.
Conversely, a person with a substance use disorder may end up aggravating an existing mental illness or help create a new one. Someone who abuses a substance like alcohol may end up contributing to the development of depression. Stimulant drugs can cause symptoms of anxiety, which a person may seek to alleviate by increasing the number of drugs they take. The act of trying to help themselves with one condition ends up placing them in an unending cycle of co-occurring disorders.
How Anxiety is Treated
Therapists at Phoenix Rising frequently work with clients who don’t realize the hold anxiety has taken on their lives. Others may understand that anxiety has compromised their quality of life but don’t realize they can receive treatment for it alongside getting help with their addiction.
Even if a person doesn’t have a problem with anxiety initially, detoxing from drugs and alcohol often brings on feelings of anxiety. These feelings can last for weeks or months after detox ends and can threaten a person’s ability to stay in recovery. Treatment programs can offer psychological and medical support for anxiety that helps people avoid relapsing.
Designed with dual diagnosis in mind, our inpatient anxiety treatment centers in California implement treatments that minimize or eliminate feelings of anxiety while helping people learn to embrace sobriety for a lifetime. Options we provide for accomplishing this include:
- Medical and psychological support during detox
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Dialectical-behavior therapy
- Family therapy
- Experiential therapy
- Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy (EMDR)
- Holistic therapy
- Motivational enhancement therapy
During a person’s rehab treatment time, we help with the development of a superior aftercare and recovery management plan that prepares the individual to return home as a healthier, sober person.
Join Our Inpatient Anxiety Treatment Centers in California
If you struggle with anxiety alongside addiction to drugs or alcohol, help is available. Our inpatient substance abuse and anxiety treatment centers in California understand how difficult this combination of conditions can be and we know how to help you get better. Phoenix Rising provides effective, compassionate treatment that helps you manage and reduce your anxiety while also embracing a sober life. Contact us today and start enjoying the benefits of our comprehensive treatment.