With an addiction to drugs or alcohol, other personality disorders may tag along, as well. One mood disorder that often accompanies a substance abuse problem is anxiety. This persistent fear can interfere with work, close relationships and social activities.
In order to cope with an anxiety disorder, a person may start to self-treat with drugs and alcohol. They will experience temporary relief and even a sense of euphoria. Unfortunately, this feeling doesn’t last, so they will try to recapture it over and over again. This can worsen the psychological and physical symptoms of anxiety and reinforce the need to use even more. The cycle eventually leads to dependence and addiction.
Types of Anxiety Disorders
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder: A continuous sense of dread with no specific focus
- Social Anxiety Disorder: An unreasonable fear of interacting with others
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: This develops after a traumatic event
- Panic Disorder: Episodes of overwhelming and uncontrollable terror
- Specific Phobias: An irrational fear of an object, situation or animal
Signs and Symptoms of Anxiety
While there are many types of anxiety, all disorders have certain signs and symptoms in common.
– An intrusive fear – either general or specific – that occurs on most days of the week for six months or more
– A decline in the quality of relationships, job performance, social activities or overall satisfaction with life
– Repeated attempts to resolve the fears without success
– The use of substances such as alcohol, drugs or tobacco,
– Other negative behaviors such as overeating
Physical Signs of Anxiety
Anxiety can even take a toll directly on the body. Those suffering from an anxiety disorder can have a physical response to situations or objects that seem threatening to them. These life-threatening responses can include:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Stomach pain
- Choking sensations
- Rapid Heartbeat
Treating Both Diseases
A comprehensive treatment center is crucial to treat both a mental health illness and an addiction. Clients with dual diagnoses (two diseases) need integrated services that address both problems together. At Footprints, a co-occurring disorder treatment center, we craft an individualized treatment plan for you that is unique for your dual diagnosis. For more information, contact us today to start your road to recovery.