Anxiety is a crippling feeling of worry, unease, and apprehension of life and the world around us. Everyone deals with anxiety to some degree, but anxiety levels are higher than ever in today’s society. Every year, over 40 million adults—nearly 20 percent of the American population—suffer from anxiety disorders in the United States. These include GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder), different phobias, social anxiety disorders, OCD, and PTSD. In fact, some professionals speculate that anxiety is on the rise.
Feelings of anxiety are normal and part of our everyday lives and instincts. However, struggling with irregulated anxiety can make for even more troubles. In the case of addiction and recovering from addiction, anxiety can make the process even more difficult. In such a stressful world, it is important to tackle problems like addiction as well as anxiety simultaneously.
How Anxiety and Addiction are Connected
At first, connecting anxiety and addiction may seem like a reach, but the truth is they are very much intertwined. In fact, one of the top reasons people begin to abuse drugs and alcohol is to feel better and relax. For many of these cases, substance abuse relieves anxiety, from general to social anxiety or events of PTSD. Conversely, people who begin to abuse drugs can develop anxiety from the effects of substance abuse, including stress and shame.
Because of this, it is crucial to not only treat addiction but any mental illnesses like anxiety in recovery. After all, if you were to treat an addict’s alcoholism, they could easily relapse if their anxiety is left unaddressed. The same applies to other mental conditions such as depression, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia.
As such, recovery patients should always be checked for dual diagnosis—suffering from both an addiction and mental disorder. In doing so, the chance of relapse becomes significantly lower.
Identifying Our Anxieties
To fully understand living with, recovering from, and coping with anxiety, there needs to be an understanding of the source. In recovery, different therapy sessions, methods, and other outlets help victims learn about themselves and their setbacks. Today, some people have developed anxiety simply because the world around them insists on worrying.
Everyone worries about deadlines, relationships, finances, physical and emotional needs, and most importantly, the future. In today’s society, there exists a great amount of emphasis put on “what if” or “what could be”. We are sold insurance plans to prepare for tragedy, take vitamins for “less risk of disease” and what have you. The human mind becomes frequently conditioned to worry about numerous crises ahead and fear the proverbial monster in the closet. We may not even know what the monster looks like yet dread it because society says we should.
Anxiety comes from many different places, in different forms, and affects every person individually. But in a world that places so much focus on it, is it any wonder why anxiety rates are rising?
Coping with Anxiety and an Anxious World
It is no secret that we live in an anxious world, and avoiding its anxieties are challenging hurdles themselves. With a constant stream of worries, it can be challenging to accept and cope with it. Combine these difficulties with the struggles of addiction, and addicts understandably feel restless, irritable and unsatisfied on a constant basis. However, we can change how we approach these by changing our everyday perception and outlook.
There are many complex treatments to addiction itself as well as treating anxiety but moving forward requires your own efforts. This means directing your mindset into more positive outlooks, focusing thoughts elsewhere, and being mindful of the world around you. Make an effort to remind yourself of what you do have, what you are grateful for, and reassess your worries.
By following these lifestyles, you may find yourself struggling with less stress and enforcing a more positive routine overall. Recovery is not easy and recovering from addiction as well as regulating anxiety takes a great effort on your part. But by utilizing the resources of rehabilitation centers, psychiatrists, and therapy, you can begin the steps of a calmer life.
If you or a loved one is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, contact a local Treatment & Rehab alternative in Tennessee. You might be interested in Discovery Place’s own treatment center alternatives, such as our 30 Day Residential Addiction Alternative Recovery Program or our Long Term Alternative Recovery Program in Burns, Tennessee. Call us for a free consultation at 1-800-725-0922.