Anxiety and Addiction Treatment in Idaho

Anxiety is a common emotion that many people experience in their lifetime. The feelings of tension, worried thoughts, and other associated symptoms of anxiety such as high blood pressure occur and then subside. You may feel anxiety regarding a date with a new person, traveling on a plane, or asking your boss for a raise. There are many scenarios where anxiety is a natural reaction to unknown or unfavorable outcomes.

While anxiety is usually temporary, this is not always the case. For some people, anxiety is not a fleeting emotion. Instead, they may find themselves frequently anxious. When a person experiences persistent anxiety, they likely have an anxiety disorder.

Further, frequent anxiety can be so debilitating that it begins to affect an individual’s ability to participate in their own life. When this happens, there is a risk that the individual may try and cope with their anxious feelings through less-than-ideal means.

In some cases, anxiety and addiction will occur simultaneously. As individuals attempt to deal with anxiety on their own, they may find that drugs or alcohol numb the intense feelings. However, over time, the regular use of substances such as drugs or alcohol may lead to a dependence on these substances.

If you are experiencing both anxiety and addiction, you may benefit from receiving dual-diagnosis treatment for both conditions at Eagle Creek Ranch Recovery in Nampa, Idaho.

What is a Dual Diagnosis?

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Dual diagnosis treatment entails the treatment of two disorders at once. These can be two mental health conditions or a mental health condition and substance use disorder. This type of treatment is best suited for those who struggle with the presence of co-occurring disorders—another name for having two disorders at once.

These disorders can range from mild to severe, and often affect the individual’s quality of life in a major way. To ensure that an individual in treatment is given the best chance at recovery, both disorders must be treated at once. This is where dual diagnosis treatment comes in. In this program, both behavioral health conditions are diagnosed and taken into consideration when your unique treatment plan is being created.

When an individual has two conditions at once, they may influence the severity of each other. In treatment, both conditions must be identified and treated for the individual to experience relief. Unfortunately, if one condition is ignored, there is an increased chance of relapse as the person will be unable to fully manage their symptoms.

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What is an Anxiety Disorder?

An anxiety disorder is a condition in which a person has repeated episodes of excessive, intense, and persistent worry and fear. This can be about everyday situations or about situations that have not occurred in the life of the individual. When the individual is faced with an episode of anxiety, they will generally have a sudden onset of fear or terror that can peak within a few minutes leading to a panic attack.

When an individual has an anxiety disorder, their feelings of panic will interfere with daily activities. Another hallmark of an anxiety disorder is that the terror often will not match the danger that the person is facing. For example, a person with an anxiety disorder may have a panic attack when faced with a seemingly normal situation such as mailing a letter at the post office. This will then cause them to avoid situations where they experience intense anxiety, leading to a disruption in their everyday life.

Anxiety disorders are persistent and the symptoms of an episode can last a long time. For many people, these disorders begin in childhood or when they are in their teenage years and then persist into their adult lives. However, an anxiety disorder can begin at any stage in life and may be due to a traumatic experience that facilitates the start of one. For example, an individual who is bit by a dog as an adult may then experience anxiety around all dogs as a result.

The Signs and Symptoms of Anxiety

anxiety and addiction treatment center idahoAnxiety, like other health conditions, comes with common signs and symptoms. However, all anxiety disorders come with some combination of the following signs:

  • Involuntary anxious thoughts or beliefs that interfere with daily life and do not go away or get better over time.
  • Physical symptoms related to feelings of terror or panic.
  • Behavioral changes cause you to avoid certain stimuli or scenarios.

Since there are different types of anxiety disorders, there is a range of symptoms that one may experience. These symptoms may include any combination of the following:

  • Feeling nervous, restless, or tense
  • The presence of a sense of impending danger, panic, or doom
  • Increased heart rate
  • Hyperventilation or rapid breathing
  • Sweating
  • Trembling
  • Feelings of weakness or fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating or thinking about anything other than the present worry
  • Having trouble sleeping
  • Gastrointestinal (GI) problems such as upset stomach

Types of Anxiety Disorders

While anxiety refers to a feeling of unease and panic, anxiety disorders refer to a condition that involves more than temporary feelings of anxiety. These disorders progress over time and may get worse without treatment. This often causes problems for the sufferer with school, work, relationships, and daily life.

There are a variety of anxiety disorders that a person can have. These differ in the presentation of symptoms and what triggers the anxiety. The following are common anxiety disorders that may accompany a substance use disorder:

GAD is the most common type of anxiety disorder. An estimated 5.7% of adults in the United States experience some type of generalized anxiety disorder in their lifetime. When a person suffers from generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), they experience excessive worry and anxiety about activities and life events. These activities and life events may even be ordinary in nature. Regardless, they instill feelings of worry in the individual.

The worry associated with a generalized anxiety disorder is often out of proportion when compared to the object of worry. Further, the anxiety experienced is impossible to control and causes physical stress such as rapid heart rate, hyperventilation, or sweating. This anxiety disorder often occurs simultaneously with other conditions such as depression.

A panic disorder is distinguished by the presence of panic attacks. Panic attacks are episodes of intense panic in which anxiety reaches a peak. During a panic attack, an individual will experience feelings of impending doom accompanied by chest pain, shortness of breath, and heart palpitations. Panic attacks are highly uncomfortable and will often result in a person avoiding situations that cause them.

When a person has a social anxiety disorder,  they become overwhelmed with anxiety when they are in social situations of any kind. This anxiety can manifest itself as fear of being judged, fear of rejection, or fear of embarrassment. People with a social anxiety disorder will often feel anxious and uncomfortable even when the situation doesn’t warrant it. For example, when checking out in the grocery store, the prospect of engaging with a cashier can cause unwanted feelings of anxiety and panic.

There are times when anxiety develops due to the use of substances like drugs or alcohol. A substance-induced anxiety disorder will be accompanied by feelings of intense anxiety when an individual is exposed to drugs or during withdrawal from their drug of choice.

Specific phobias are also categorized as anxiety disorders. Phobias are intense anxiety that’s experienced when a person is exposed to a certain feared object or situation. An individual who has a fear of water, flying, or anything else, may experience anxiety and panic attacks if they are placed in a position to confront their fear. For example, someone with agoraphobia will experience intense anxiety if faced with a crowded place or a place that is difficult to leave.

The Relationship between Anxiety and Addiction

Anxiety and substance abuse commonly occur together. People with anxiety disorders will often turn to drugs or alcohol as a way of self-medicating, particularly if they have not been formally diagnosed (or are avoiding treatment). Drugs and alcohol, unfortunately, may temporarily alleviate the physical and emotional symptoms associated with anxiety.

While drugs and alcohol bring many people anxiety relief in the short term, it can quickly spiral out of control. Further, both anxiety and addiction may increase the severity of either condition. As a person experiences the fallout of drug abuse, they may become more anxious—leading to a vicious cycle of overactive emotions and the consequences of drug abuse.

One common use of substances to alleviate feelings of anxiety occurs in people who use alcohol to cope with social anxiety. You may have even heard alcohol be referred to as a “social lubricant.” However, this can lead to alcohol addiction as a person becomes unable to face others without the crutch of a drink. When this, and similar situations, happen the individual will require treatment for both disorders in the form of dual diagnosis treatment.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment: The Best Way to Treat Anxiety and Addiction

If you are experiencing anxiety and addiction, there is hope for recovery. A dual-diagnosis treatment program can provide the tools you need to work through both anxiety and addiction. Dual diagnosis treatment is a type of treatment that addresses two or more mental health disorders simultaneously, with the aim being simultaneous recovery from each.

When it comes to anxiety and addiction, dual diagnosis treatment provides a unique approach to healing by addressing both underlying issues at once. This helps individuals to identify the root of their anxiety and addiction, as well as gain insight into how these issues are intertwined. In dual-diagnosis treatment, individuals will work with a team of professionals to create an individualized treatment plan which may include psychotherapy, medication management, and other forms of therapy.

Psychotherapy is at the heart of dual-diagnosis treatment and helps individuals to process their anxiety and addiction in a safe and supportive environment. Therapists provide psychoeducation about anxiety and addiction, as well as provide emotional support to help individuals learn how to cope with their symptoms. Additionally, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can be used to challenge thought patterns that may contribute to anxiety or addiction.

Find Healing at Eagle Creek Ranch Recovery

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Businessman listening to female counselor during therapy session while sitting in officeAnxiety and addiction are difficult to manage on one’s own and recovery are impossible to achieve without the proper treatment. At Eagle Creek Ranch Recovery, we provide comprehensive addiction and mental health treatment to individuals with co-occurring disorders in Idaho.

To learn about how we can help you overcome anxiety and addiction, contact up today. We provide individualized care to ensure that you receive the best guidance and support on your journey to healing. Our team of qualified experts is ready and dedicated to helping you start a healthier lifestyle.