The Link Between Anxiety and Alcohol Consumption
For those who suffer from mild, moderate, or severe anxiety, alcohol can easily become a coping mechanism. Those who struggle with this mental health issue often resort to alcohol consumption in order to ease their nerves and lessen their worries. Close to 40 million individuals across the U.S. struggle with anxiety disorder but more than half of them do not seek treatment for it.
If you do not seek treatment for your anxiety and fail to get professional help, alcohol can be an easily accessible means of coping. When you consume alcohol to reduce the symptoms of anxiety, you are doing what is considered ‘self-medicating’. This sort of anxiety management strategy is detrimental to your health and is a cycle that will continue to worsen the longer that you continue to self mediate.
Feeling anxious and struggling with an anxiety disorder are two different things. If you suffer from an anxiety disorder, you have far more intense symptoms that are also lengthier and more unbearable than simply experiencing occasional anxiety.
Some symptoms which may indicate an anxiety disorder are:
- Inability to catch your breath
- Lack of concentration
- Increased heart rate
- Irritation and agitation
If you have experienced any of these symptoms, you may be struggling with an anxiety disorder. Turning to alcohol as a means to cope with anxiety is not the answer. There are treatment programs available that can help you manage and overcome your anxiety so that you do not have to partake in self-medication.
Dual Diagnosis Treatment
Those who struggle with anxiety are three times more likely to have a substance abuse problem than those who do not have a substance abuse issue. In order for the individual to overcome their struggles, as well as their substance abuse, dual diagnosis treatment is required. This is a type of treatment program that treats both the underlying cause of the addiction, in this case, anxiety, as well as the addiction, alcohol, in this case. When both issues are under control and managed, the individual will be better able to lead a normal and productive life without their disorders interrupting.
If you are struggling with a co-occurring disorder, it’s important that you seek help from a professional treatment service.
There are other steps that you can take in addition to seeking professional treatment that can help you manage your anxiety and urge to drink.
- Regular Exercise
- Keep a Journal
- Maintain a Healthy Diet
- Meditate Daily
Suffering from an anxiety disorder can be both mentally and physically debilitating. With the proper treatment and support, you can overcome the barriers that these disorders put up for you. You must seek help now so that you are no longer controlled by your substance abuse or mental health disorder.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.