Methamphetamine (meth) is a type of synthetic stimulant drug. It is highly addictive and can cause numerous health problems. In some situations, it can cause mental health disorders, too. But, can meth cause anxiety? In short, yes. Understanding its use may help you to see the importance of getting help if you’re using this drug.
What Happens When You Use Meth?
The short-term effects of meth are often what people seek – a sudden burst of energy and excitement. It creates a euryopia as well. While it does this, it also increases the heartbeat, breathing rate, and blood pressure. Even body temperature rises. That occurs because the drug stimulants the central nervous system, encouraging your brain to activate and work harder and faster. Sometimes, this can lead to irrational behavior, violence, and aggression.
Prolonged use of the drug can worsen these effects. Over time, your heart, lungs, and brain struggle to meet the demands of meth use. That leads to damage to them. You may be at a higher risk for heart attacks and strokes. More so, you may suffer from dental problems, intense itching, and skin sores. However, what meth also does is impact mental health in many people.
How Can Meth Cause Anxiety, Then?
Meth interacts with the brain, stimulating its function. This often leads to mood disturbances, delusions, and even paranoia in some people. Some face confusion. Many face anxiety, and oftentimes, it can be crippling.
Anxiety is the body’s natural response to high-stress situations and danger. It’s an intense fear and feeling of what’s to come. Anxiety disorders may also include phobias, social anxiety, and separation anxiety. Others have a panic disorder.
When you use meth, the drug activates neurotransmitters in the brain. Hormones are sent out into the body to stimulate the function of organs and the brain. At the same time, the intensity of the experience, along with the speeding up of the body’s physiological response, can lead to the onset of anxiety. Your brain is racing, your heart is beating rapidly, and you’re anxious. It is a very common situation for meth users, even if they are using the drug to feel good.
Do You Have Anxiety Already?
If you already have anxiety or other mental health disorders, the use of meth or other stimulant drugs like it can worsen the experience and make those experiences more profound. By comparison, alcohol is a depressant. In a person who has anxiety, alcohol may work to calm nerves and reduce tensions because it works to slow the brain down. Meth does the opposite. It speeds up the function of the brain, increasing the likelihood that you’ll develop anxious feelings.
It’s important to recognize that anxiety is an emotional and a physical experience. When you’re using meth, your body has many of the same symptoms as when you have a panic attack. That includes a racing heart rate, sweating, and irrational thoughts. Often, using meth can feel very uncomfortable and difficult to manage in people with untreated anxiety and panic disorders.
Meth and Mental Health Disorders
Many people with addiction struggle with mental health disorders. When this happens, it’s called co-occurring disorders. Anxiety is one example. Others include bipolar disorder, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. If you are battling any of these conditions, you may have turned to meth as a way to stop thinking about them. For example, men and women with depression often seek out meth because it is a stimulant and can provide more energy and motivation.
For a person with anxiety and using meth, it’s critical to seek out help as soon as possible. Not doing so could mean you’re putting yourself in a situation where you’ll experience more intense anxiety symptoms. This may lead to paranoia, delusions, and hallucinations.
Getting Help in a Meth Treatment Center Is Critical
For a person with mental health disorders like anxiety, it’s not safe to simply stop using and go through the withdrawal process. Doing so can lead to the onset of intense cravings and withdrawal symptoms, some of which could put you at risk for health complications, including paranoia and psychosis. However, in a treatment center, you may gain the help you need to safely stop using meth and gain control over the anxiety that you have.