Very often, the stressful symptoms of an untreated mental health disorder such as anxiety can drive a person to self-medicate with drugs and alcohol, which can lead to the disease of addiction.
In other cases, a prolonged struggle with addiction can cause the onset of various mental health conditions, such as anxiety disorder.
The combination of a mental health disorder and an active addiction is known as a co-occurring disorder and requires dual diagnosis treatment to successfully overcome both issues.
The symptoms of each individual condition often magnify and complicate the symptoms of the other.
At Pure Recovery, we know that true healing can only begin when both diagnoses are addressed together at the same time and treated with an evidence-based, holistic approach to recovery.
What is Anxiety?
Anxiety disorders are different from the normal and, in some cases, healthy fear everyone experiences in the course of living their day-to-day lives.
A little bit of anxiety about an upcoming speaking engagement, work project, school assignment or any other type of obligation is completely natural, and can even drive a person to prepare accordingly.
In physically demanding or dangerous situations, anxiety can trigger physiological responses, such as increased heart, adrenaline and muscle tension that kicks a person into survival mode, where they either flee the situation or fight for their life.
It is precisely because anxiety is so powerful that people suffering from anxiety disorders can feel paralyzed in certain situations.
In general, anxiety disorders cause fear that is out of proportion to a given situation, making it difficult or even impossible for a person suffering from the disorder to function normally.
Who Suffers from Anxiety Disorders?
According to the American Psychiatric Association (APA), anxiety disorders are the most common mental health illness in the United States, affecting nearly 30 percent of all adults at some point in their life.
Anxiety disorders are highly treatable, but because of the stigma associated with mental health issues, many people are often too afraid to ask for help or believe they’re just somehow weaker than everyone else.
Because of the stigma, more than 60% of the people who experience the symptoms of the various types of anxiety disorders never receive treatment or even a diagnosis.
The truth, however, is that anxiety disorders can be brought on by a number of different factors, including:
- Brain chemistry
- Traumatic life events
- Alcohol or substance use
- Medical conditions like diabetes or chronic pain
Left untreated, these types of disorders can spiral out of control and result in not just poor mental health, but declining physical health as well.
It’s unfortunate that so many people are afraid to seek medical help for anxiety, and instead they self-medicate with alcohol or other drugs as a coping mechanism.
What are the 6 Different Types of Anxiety Disorders?
The APA publishes the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), often regarded as the “bible of psychiatry,” which is used by psychiatrists and other clinicians specifically for diagnosing psychiatric illnesses.
While anxiety disorders can be very specific, the DSM-5 groups the disorders into the following six categories:
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder
- Social Anxiety Disorder
- Panic Disorder
- Specific Phobias
- Separation Anxiety Disorder
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), which was formerly included with anxiety disorder, was given it’s own chapter in the most recent edition of the DSM-5.
What are the Symptoms of Anxiety Disorders?
It’s important to note that anxiety disorders are caused by a variety of different factors and people coping with these disorders do not necessarily experience all of the symptoms in the same way.
Some of the more common anxiety disorder symptoms can include:
- Excessive worrying or irrational fears
- Restlessness, agitation and irritability
- Avoiding social situations once enjoyed
- A sudden or evolving change in personality
- Depression as a result of untreated anxiety
- Sleep issues, such as insomnia or difficulty staying asleep
- Chest pains, elevated heart rate or difficulty breathing in certain situations
- Sudden heart palpitations, tremors or headaches
- Difficulty concentrating at work or school
- An increase in alcohol or drug consumption
How Are Anxiety Disorders Treated?
Pure Recovery uses an integrated, evidence-based and holistic approach to treating anxiety disorders combined with alcohol or substance addiction.
In the case of a dual diagnosis, it’s vital that both disorders, addiction and anxiety, be treated simultaneously so that full recovery from both will be successful.
For clients battling anxiety disorders, there are some very straightforward and effective holistic treatment options.
These can include avoiding caffeine, developing a regular exercise routine that boosts endorphins, a natural neurotransmitter associated with stress reduction, as well as learning mediation and mindfulness techniques that can ease the symptoms of anxiety.
At Pure Recovery, these approaches to treating anxiety disorders and addiction are then combined with more advanced therapies, including:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
- Trauma Therapy
- Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
- Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
- 3D Brain Mapping
A Personalized Dual Diagnosis Approach
Pure Recovery California is the leader in cognitive neuroscience treatments that are customized to each of our client’s individual psychological and physical needs so that they can move past their anxieties and into a successful recovery.
As mentioned previously, anxiety disorders are caused by a variety of different factors and everyone experiences the symptoms differently. This is why a cookie-cutter approach to treatment that is the same for every client usually fails.
Many treatment centers only offer treatment for addiction or mental health issues, but not both.
Pure Recovery uses an individualized approach that is based on each of our client’s personal needs as recommended by an intake assessment performed by our clinical care team.
And our dual diagnosis programs are uniquely qualified to treat both addiction and mental health disorders like anxiety simultaneously so that recovery will be successful.
Our compassionate and caring team understands that it can be difficult for many people to seek help because they fear the label of mental illness. But there’s no shame in healing and getting better to live a happy and productive life.