Anxiety and Addiction: Unraveling the Connection

Some of our physical and mental behaviours or responses tend to be closely linked to each other. When you are feeling stressed, for instance, you might associate temporary relief from that scenario with the consumption of alcohol. Regulating your drinking and remaining in control is not always possible. That can have potential consequences, leading to the possibility of developing an addiction.

When you seek addiction treatment in California, for example, the care and support you receive will most likely consider the circumstances that led to a substance dependence. That may include exploring the link between anxiety and addiction.

Here is a look at how anxiety and addiction can become intertwined.

Addiction and anxiety tend to be a two-way street

The common link between addiction and anxiety is that they often both occur at the same time. The link between the two is definitely considered to be a two-way street. They are co-occurring mental health issues that have the ability to feed off each other, creating a vicious cycle that can be hard to break without proper treatment.

About half of people who have been diagnosed with a mental health illness are also trying to cope with a substance problem at the same time.

A large percentage of alcohol abusers, for instance, often have to contend with other serious mental health disorders at the same time.

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What is the common link between anxiety and addiction?

It is perfectly normal human behavior to have feelings of anxiety at certain times. The issue is when those feelings of anxiousness persist and become a debilitating problem that a person can’t seem to shake off.

This is often the point when someone might start to abuse alcohol, for instance, in an attempt to find a solution.

Classic symptoms of an anxiety disorder would be intense and persistent feelings of worry that can be overwhelming. When you are unable to dampen these feelings and it starts to impact aspects of your daily life, the response for some is to self-medicate. This is what can lead to addiction.

You are more vulnerable to addiction if you have an anxiety disorder

It has been demonstrated through the use of data that about a third of people who have been diagnosed with a drug or alcohol addiction had also been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder at some point in their life.

When you have an anxiety disorder it raises your risk profile in relation to developing an addiction. Statistically, you are more likely to develop an addiction problem once you have experienced an anxiety disorder diagnosis.

The problem many find is that their first attempt to deal with the issue is through self-medication. Seeking solace in this way can open up the path to addiction because the consumption of drugs or alcohol is not regulated.

The bottom line is that substance abuse often has the detrimental impact of worsening your anxiety symptoms.

That is why it is always a good idea to get a diagnosis and treatment for both anxiety and substance abuse. As the two are inextricably linked, the best solution is often to tackle both in order to achieve a better long-term solution.

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