While there is no certainty of developing an addiction, there are risk factors that can increase your likelihood. One such risk factor is the presence of a mental health disorder, such as depression or anxiety. There are numerous causes that can lead to the development of addiction, such as familial dynamics, work-related stress, etc. Understanding the relationship between addiction and anxiety can help people get the care they need to live a happy, healthy, and sober life.

Understanding Anxiety

Anxiety is a common emotion that everyone feels from time to time. Whether it be about an important meeting or a significant step in your life, anxiety can cause feelings of mild stress. In healthy scenarios, anxiety can be beneficial because it ensures you are alert, aware, and prepared. However, those with anxiety disorders do not experience these feelings at normal levels.

An anxiety disorder is characterized by higher levels of stress or overwhelming feelings without any specific cause. These can lead to debilitating symptoms that affect daily life, such as problems concentrating, persistent and irrational fears, panic attacks, negative impacts on relationships and professional life, and even substance abuse. Substance abuse usually occurs as a result of self-medication when an individual tries to alleviate their symptoms.

Anxiety and Addiction

As you can imagine, the symptoms of anxiety disorders can be uncomfortable, causing a significant negative impact on a person’s life. For these reasons, it is not uncommon for those with anxiety disorders to turn to drugs and alcohol to self-medicate. However, long-term drug and alcohol misuse can worsen their anxiety, causing the person to use more to alleviate symptoms. Tolerance will also build over time, which results in the individual’s need for higher quantities to achieve the desired effects.

The best way for a person to come out of this cycle is to enroll in an accredited treatment program that treats co-occurring disorders. This will give them the best chance at a successful recovery because both issues will be treated.

Anxiety and addiction often coexist in a vicious cycle of worsening symptoms. However, treatment is available for those struggling with co-occurring disorders that address both the addiction and underlying mental health issues. Treating both simultaneously is necessary for a complete recovery, so programs that do so should be sought out. Alta Loma Transformational Services offers co-occurring disorder treatment to provide men a stable environment where they can heal. Through individualized care and comprehensive treatment programs, you can be sure to find recovery at Alta Loma. Call us today to learn more at (866) 457-3843.