Impact of Anxiety on Drug Addiction

Anxiety disorders are common among people in the U.S. The reactions that anxiety prompt isn’t the same as the healthy responses your body perceives danger. Clinical anxiety is typically marked by people having unfounded fears about people or situations. It can get to the point where they have trouble working, going to school, or maintaining relationships with friends and family. A lot of individuals turn to drugs or alcohol to deal with the feelings brought about by anxiety.

Types of Anxiety

Anxiety can show up in different ways. Some people experience a constant sense of dread, while others get to the point where they become paralyzed by fear and cannot function. Treatment for anxiety varies depending on the type and severity. Typical forms of clinical anxiety include:

  • General Anxiety Disorder (GAD) — Individuals diagnosed with a general anxiety disorder (GAD) feel a continued sense of dread that does not have a specific focus. Those with GAD often move those concerns from one source to the next. Many people dismiss those worries as typical without realizing that there may be a more serious workplace issue. Many of the fears they have do not have a basis in reality.
  • Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) — Social anxiety disorder is also referred to as social phobia. People with SAD become fearful when they are in a crowded space or confronted with the possibility of taking part in social activities. They may also experience feelings of dread when asked to speak in front of an audience or have any interaction with the public.
  • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) — It’s common for people to develop PTSD after a traumatic event. They may have nightmares or flashbacks to that situation. They may end up with drug addiction because they are looking for a way to escape those emotions.
  • Panic Disorder — People with panic disorders experience periods where they have overwhelming feelings of terror. It can feel as though you are having a heart attack, though people typically do not end up dying from a panic attack.

Symptoms of Anxiety

While anxiety disorders can manifest in different ways, all of them have some symptoms in common. Signs that you may have some anxiety disorder include:

  • Constant feelings of fear during most days of the week that last for at least six months
  • Seeing relationships deteriorate because of your fears
  • Finding yourself struggling at school or work because of feeling afraid
  • Constantly looking to avoid the possibility of attending social events
  • Finding yourself unable to overcome your fears
  • Turning to drugs or alcohol to alleviate your anxiety symptoms

Anxiety can also produce physical reactions in the body like:

  • Not being able to catch your breath
  • Sweating
  • Chest pains
  • Insomnia
  • Accelerated heartbeat
  • Shaking
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Chest Pain
  • Feeling of choking
  • Stomach pain

It is a good idea to seek help from a mental health specialist if you’ve been experiencing anxiety symptoms for six months or more. They may be able to diagnose the specifics of your condition and offer you advice on finding ongoing treatment.

How Anxiety Impacts Addiction

Substance abuse is common among people diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. They may have higher rates of alcoholism and drug abuse than the general public. People with an addiction and anxiety disorder are typically referred to as having a dual diagnosis. Reasons individuals may be more drawn to addictive behaviors include:

  • Chemical imbalances in the brain
  • Family history of addiction or mental health disorders
  • Self-medicating symptoms of anxiety
  • Relief from stress

Northern Illinois Recovery may help if you find yourself dealing with symptoms of anxiety and substance abuse. Programs and services offered by our facility include:

Start getting help with your issues today by calling Northern Illinois Recovery at 855.786.1978.