The Relationship Between Stress and Addiction

Willow Place on May 11, 2018
The Relationship Between Stress and Addiction

Stress affects people from all walks of life. It comes in different ways for different reasons. It impacts kids and their teachers during test periods. It affects college students. It bothers middle-aged adults on the job. Older adults deal with stress concerning their health. People deal with stress in different ways. Some turn their attention to less stressful activities in order to shift their focus. Unfortunately, those activities are sometimes harmful. A lot of people begin to abuse substances in order to deal with the problem. But, when stress and addiction are combined, they can cause a lot of issues.

Defining Stress

We’ve all heard of stress. We’ve all felt it. But, what exactly is stress? Well, it’s an emotional state that includes a sort of pressure or tension. It usually comes as a result of a hard or unpleasant situation. Stress is a physical and psychological response to a pressure-causing trigger. In other words, people feel this tension when they are placed in a situation that might be difficult to deal with. This could be a homework project. It might be a decision about the medical care of a loved one. Or, it might be a bill that needs to be paid. Again, people feel stress for different reasons.

Contrary to what a lot of people may believe, stress isn’t actually bad. It’s a natural response to a particular condition. And, it can cause you to get a positive result. For example, you might feel stressed about an assignment, which will cause you to get into action. You’ll complete the task ahead of you in order to relieve that stressful feeling. Stress triggers that “fight or flight” emotion within you. It can help you to react in the way you need to respond when the situation calls for it.

How Stress and Addiction Interact

Even though stress isn’t always bad, it can produce some negative effects. This is especially the case when a person is dealing with stress and addiction at the same time. When a person goes through stress and addiction, she can have a much different experience than someone who is struggling with stress and anxiety.

Stress and addiction have an interesting relationship. Stress can either be caused by addiction or be the cause of addiction. In some cases, however, the two can be caused by separate things. No matter the cause, living with both stress and addiction can result in a lot of problems for the individual.

As we said before, people usually turn to less stressful things in order to relieve the tension. But, all too often, people use drugs or alcohol in order to escape. This, of course, is very dangerous. Substance abuse can actually cause more stress because it makes the person dependent on a harmful substance. This dependence might cause problems in the areas of work, school, relationships, and so forth. All of this could lead to even more stress and, in turn, severe addiction.

What Can You Do About Stress and Addiction?

Are you a woman who has been dealing with both stress and addiction? You’re not alone. In fact, you may know another woman who has a similar struggle. The good news is that there’s hope. Help is available through the services of Willow Place for Women. Our interpersonal process sessions are designed to help our patients work through stress and addiction. It’s not easy to overcome addiction. And, even after treatment is over, you will be presented with stressful situations. But Willow Place for Women works to prepare you for those moments. If you want to be free from stress and addiction, please contact us today.

Request a Call Back

If you or someone you love is battling a severe chemical dependency, an eating disorder, or both, please feel free to contact one of our trained cognitive behavioral therapy Asheville addiction specialists today. All calls are free and completely confidential. While we know that suffering from a severe and life-threatening substance dependency can, at times, seem insurmountable, we sincerely believe that every woman is capable and deserving of the opportunity to recover. Reaching out is the first step – give us a call today and we will gladly walk you through the process of beginning your beautiful, fulfilling journey of recovery.

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