Anxiety disorders are relatively common in the United States and exist on a spectrum from mild to severe. According to the National Institute of Mental Health NIMH), “an estimated 31.1% of U.S. adults experience an anxiety disorder at some time in their lives.” NIMH defines anxiety disorders as any one of the following types:
At Create Recovery Center of West Los Angeles, our clinical staff can help you find a treatment plan to address your unique needs. We believe that individualized approaches encompassing several treatment techniques are best for a successful recovery. Although treatment can vary depending upon the type of anxiety and the person, anxiety disorders share many common characteristics.
While anxiety symptoms exist on a spectrum of mild, moderate, and severe, anxiety is characterized by experiencing some or most of these symptoms:
When a person experiences symptoms like these for several months, they may have an anxiety disorder. These symptoms can impair a person’s thinking, behavior, and ability to function in everyday life. Anxiety disorders tend to lead to a lot of avoidance behaviors, which can include drug, alcohol, or process addictions, such as gambling or sexual addictions.
Avoidance behaviors refer to a maladaptive set of coping skills that can impact a person’s overall quality of life. Human behavior can be broken down into two primary motivations:
Feelings of anxiety regarding a person’s environment can cause them to associate a particular event or other factors with their uncomfortable or distressing thoughts and feelings. While a person may feel that the situation causes their anxiety, it’s the anxiety that causes the avoidance. A specific circumstance or environmental factor may trigger anxiety; however, the person is attempting to avoid the uneasy feelings and nervousness, not necessarily the event itself!
Not every person likes crowded spaces, loud noises, or other common triggers of anxiety. Some people have different personality types that lend a preference for varying degrees of stimulation, expectations, and interests. However, the person with an anxiety disorder feels a significant disruption or decreased quality of life when avoiding desirable or necessary experiences due to underlying anxiety.
Addictive behaviors can be a means of avoiding the uncomfortable feelings associated with anxiety. Here are some examples of maladaptive coping strategies by way of addictive behaviors:
Many of these maladaptive coping strategies are a means of distracting or “numbing” distressful feelings of anxiety. Engaging in these behaviors can further diminish a person’s quality of life or create more problems for them. As a person turns these addictive behaviors into habits, they might experience even more anxiety due to feelings of guilt or shame associated with addiction. However, for those suffering from addiction due to anxiety, there is hope!
Create Recovery Center can help those who are suffering from a dual-diagnosis of addiction caused by an underlying anxiety disorder. We believe that recovery from addiction is more than just going about getting “clean and sober.” To heal from addiction, a person needs to address the roots of their addiction to live their best life! We offer the following techniques and modalities to address the needs of those struggling with their anxiety disorder:
Our expert clinical staff can help you learn to address the underlying roots of your addiction as you learn to cope with your anxiety! Create Recovery Center is here to help you or a loved one build a treatment plan that addresses all aspects of your addiction. You can lead a fulfilling, healthy, and happy life without relying on substances!