How to Deal with Anxiety and Addiction
Anxiety and addiction often occur together, and one problem can compound the other. Fortunately there are effective methods for coping with both.
Anxiety and Addiction as Co-occurring Disorders
Conditions such as anxiety and addiction that occur simultaneously are known as co-occurring disorders. Co-occurring disorders typically cause, contribute to or exacerbate one another. When treating addiction that occurs in conjunction with a co-occurring disorder, it is imperative to treat not only the addictive behavior but the co-occurring disorder as well.
Methods for Coping with Anxiety
Professional therapy is necessary and effective for treating the causes and symptoms of anxiety. However the following are also methods individuals can utilize to help relieve and reduce anxiety:
- Get plenty of rest. Lack of sleep makes everything harder to deal with and can greatly increase your anxiety. Putting a healthy sleep schedule high on your list of priorities will help to reduce stress and anxiety; give you increased energy, stamina and concentration; make problems seem less insurmountable and help you feel better in every way.
- Exercise regularly. The benefits of regular exercise cannot be overstated. Exercise floods the body and brain with oxygen, develops improved health, is rewarding and satisfying, promotes a sense of purpose and accomplishment and is a proven stress reducer.
- Eat a healthy and balanced diet. Fatty, sugary processed foods contribute to poor health and increased stress and anxiety. A balanced diet that includes foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids and B vitamins promotes improved health and reduced stress and anxiety.
- Avoid sedatives. Although it can be tempting to take sedatives to relieve anxiety, this is a temporary solution which can backfire. Sedatives (including alcohol) can increase anxiety in the long run and may contribute to addiction or drug abuse issues.
- Use relaxation techniques such as yoga and meditation. These practices relieve and reduce stress and produce benefits such as increased concentration, coordination, flexibility and improved overall physical, mental and emotional health.
There are effective methods for coping with anxiety on your own, but using alcohol or non-prescribed drugs is not one of them. Drug abuse or addiction is a dangerous condition which requires professional treatment. Drug abuse leads to serious negative side effects, and addiction can be a horrifying experience that will take your anxiety to levels you never dreamed of. Therapy to discover and treat the causes and symptoms of your anxiety is much healthier and productive in the long run than treating anxiety with drugs that can leave you struggling with addiction.
Treatment for Addiction and Anxiety
Attempting to quit using drugs on your own is difficult, likely to fail and may even be dangerous. If you are suffering from addiction and/or anxiety and would like help finding treatment or answers to your recovery questions, call our toll-free 24 hour helpline today.