Mental disorders and addiction typically go hand in hand. Anxiety disorders are one of the more common problems that occur with addiction. While anxiety is a normal emotion, anxiety disorders differ greatly. Below is more information about these disorders and some common anxiety symptoms.

What Are Anxiety Disorders?

Anxiety is a normal emotion that people feel when they’re under stress. It’s common for people to feel anxiety when they start a new job, take a test or go on a date. However, anxiety disorders are different because they interfere with people’s ability to live their with head in hands deals with anxiety symptoms

Doctors consider anxiety disorders to be very serious mental illnesses. Fear and worry aren’t only overwhelming, but constant. Feeling like this all the time can leave individuals edgy and miserable. Sometimes they use alcohol and drugs to cope with these feelings.

Drugs typically change the chemical balance in the brain. For example, some drugs increase the release of dopamine, which the brain uses to signal pleasure. This increase in dopamine overwhelms the feeling of anxiety for a few hours, giving individuals a reprieve.

This slight break in anxiety is typically enough to keep people coming back for more. Unfortunately, abusing drugs doesn’t deal with the root problem of anxiety. Instead, it can lead to addiction, which is an incurable mental disease.

Anxiety Symptoms

Anxiety symptoms range from mild to severe. The mild ones are common to just about all individuals, whether or not they suffer from an anxiety disorder. Some of these symptoms include:

  • Feeling tense
  • Trembling
  • Sweating
  • Rapid breathing
  • Difficulty controlling worry

Anxiety disorders, however, lead to more severe problems. One example of this is agoraphobia. This condition is a fear of places that might cause panic. The fear can be so great that it often interferes with people’s ability to live normal lives.

While some people use drugs to deal with anxiety, others develop anxiety disorders as a result of their drug use. This condition is a substance-induced anxiety disorder. It can also develop from the withdrawal symptoms that people have when they stop taking drugs.

When to Get Help

People often write off anxiety as a normal emotion. Although true in most cases, there’s a certain point when people need to seek help. People who suffer from anxiety and addiction should visit rehab centers that offer dual diagnosis treatment.

Individuals should also get help when their anxiety interferes with their relationships and work. Most importantly, they need to seek immediate medical attention if they have suicidal thoughts. Doctors also recommend seeking help if they feel like other health problems affect their anxiety.

Causes of Anxiety Disorder

Besides drugs, multiple things can make anxiety disorders manifest. One common cause is traumatic events. Some experts believe that anxiety disorders are genetic. At the very least, others believe that genes play a factor in the development of the condition.

Some medical problems and anxiety disorders intertwine. People with thyroid or respiratory diseases are more likely to have anxiety issues. Individuals who suffer from heart disease or diabetes are also at a higher risk for anxiety problems.

Seek Dual Diagnosis Treatment to Deal With Anxiety and Addiction Problems

At 1st Step Behavioral Health, our goal is to give you the help that you need. We want to do more than treat your anxiety symptoms. We want to discover and address the root cause of both your anxiety and addiction put you on the path to recovery. Some of the services that we provide include:

Don’t let addiction or other mental disorders control how you live your life. Getting help starts with making one phone call. Contact us today at (855) 425-4846 to learn more about our dual diagnosis treatment center.

Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by Brittany Polansky, MSW, LCSW

Brittany has been working in behavioral health since 2012 and is the Assistant Clinical Director at our facility. She is an LCSW and holds a master’s degree in social work. She has great experience with chemical dependency and co-occurring mental health diagnoses as well as various therapeutic techniques. Brittany is passionate about treating all clients with dignity and respect, and providing a safe environment where clients can begin their healing journey in recovery.