If you are currently living with an anxiety disorder, you’re not alone. Many people are dealing with anxiety. And many of those people are also struggling with an addiction problem. If you’re in the same boat, you know that it can be very difficult to live with both of these issues. Sometimes, anxiety can lead to addiction. Other times, the opposite can happen and substance abuse can cause anxiety to become more prevalent in a person’s life. There are also instances in which the process of substance abuse recovery can make people feel a little anxious. It’s helpful to know how to deal with anxiety disorder while you’re in recovery from addiction. This can help to prevent relapse and give you some ways to handle anxiety even after treatment is over.
How Anxiety Affects People in Recovery
When a person is dealing with two different conditions at the same time, it is known as dual diagnosis. In this case, you may be experiencing both addiction and an anxiety disorder. An anxiety disorder can be caused by any number of things. People can suffer from anxiety because of medical conditions they deal with. For instance, if an individual has chronic pain, she may begin to deal with anxiety as a result of her medical state. Trauma can also cause an anxiety disorder. When a person has an anxiety disorder, it can affect them in many ways. It can negatively impact people who are in substance abuse recovery.
Addiction and anxiety disorder can be so intertwined in a person’s life. Perhaps, she became addicted to a substance because of her anxiety. Maybe alcohol or a certain drug helped her to feel calm or get better sleep at night. This is called self-medicating; the person is finding her own way to treat her anxiety problem. But, while in substance abuse recovery, people are learning to live without being dependent on substances. So, without drugs or alcohol, the anxiety disorder can certainly feel overwhelming to a person.
Anxiety is often a reason why people develop addiction problems. And, even after a person detoxes from harmful substance use, anxiety can continue to cause issues during substance abuse recovery. In fact, the recovery itself can sometimes trigger anxiety. This is because a person who is going through recovery is also going through a lot of changes. These changes affect the individual emotionally, physically, and mentally. So, people who are in substance abuse recovery often experience a lot of anxiety because of the transitions that are happening their lives.
Treating Anxiety During Addiction Treatment
The days of self medicating are ended during substance abuse recovery. The person in recovery has to develop healthier ways of coping with anxiety if she wants to live a life of sobriety. Thankfully, this is absolutely possible. Here are a few ways a person can handle anxiety while she is in substance abuse recovery:
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: CBT can help to identify underlying issues. This kind of therapy seeks to uncover harmful thinking process and behaviors. It then helps patients to replace those cognitive behaviors with positive ones. This can help those who are dealing with anxiety and addiction.
Exercise: Focus on taking care of yourself physically. Be intentional about becoming a healthier version of yourself. Exercise can help you to eliminate stress and anxiety in a way that’s much better than any substance has ever helped you.
Holistic Therapy: This includes yoga and acupuncture. Holistic therapy can help you to practice mindfulness and can help to relieve physical and emotional pressure. It treats both addiction and anxiety disorder.
Substance Abuse Recovery at Willow Place
At Willow Place for Women, our mission is to see women break free from addiction and other harmful habits. We know that everyone’s needs are different. We understand that you will face many challenges as you go through substance abuse recovery. That’s why we want to be with you every step of the way. If you need help dealing with anxiety and getting past addiction, please contact us today.