Co-occurring disorders are common because the brain becomes vulnerable when it develops one. Two conditions that occur together often are alcohol addiction and anxiety. However, there’s more to their relationship than one developing after the other because the brain is vulnerable.
An Alcohol Overview
Most people are familiar with alcohol, which includes beer, wine, and spirits. In general, they know that it helps them relax when they drink. However, they don’t realize that alcohol is a depressant and sedative. It affects the central nervous system, which slows down how the body functions.
While alcohol in moderation can be healthy, binge or heavy drinking causes damage to the body. Many people also do things while they’re under the influence that they wouldn’t usually do. With prolonged binge and heavy alcohol use, they have a high chance of suffering addiction as well.
An Overview of Anxiety
People freely use the term “anxiety” to self-diagnose their emotions. However, anxiety can be a serious problem that interferes with everyday activities and requires an anxiety treatment program. While it’s common to feel nervous in stressful situations, anxiety disorders prevent people from functioning normally. Some examples of related conditions include:
- Generalized anxiety disorder
- Social anxiety disorder
- Panic disorder
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder
- Posttraumatic stress disorder
The Link Between Alcohol and Anxiety
The main connection between anxiety and alcohol use is that people with anxiety often drink to relax. On the other hand, drinking can lead to the development of anxiety.
The relationship is evident when people drink. At first, alcohol can take their minds off of stress and ease their fears. In fact, its effects are similar to those of anti-anxiety medicines.
It’s not usually dangerous for people to drink occasionally to unwind as long as their doctors approve. Once they drink on a regular basis though, they build a tolerance to the relaxing effects. Because of that, stress and anxiety become harder for them to manage.
When people drink excessively, they experience mental and physical consequences too. For example, they could black out, lose their memory, and even develop liver and brain damage. If they don’t already have anxiety, these health issues can certainly cause it.
Treating Anxiety and Alcohol Addiction
No matter the severity of alcohol and anxiety conditions, people can get treatment. It often involves a dual diagnosis program that addresses the causes of each disorder at the same time. In most cases, a rehab center teaches them how to manage anxiety symptoms and other triggers to avoid relapse.
Get Help to Overcome Co-occurring Disorders
When you take the leap to begin alcohol and anxiety treatment, consider Pillars Recovery. Our addiction rehab center provides a range of programs, including dual diagnosis treatment. We can create a plan that addresses your specific needs with a variety of services such as:
- Art therapy
- Recreational therapy
- LGBTQ-affirmative therapy
- Medication-assisted treatment
- Family therapy and individual therapy program
- Aftercare program
Overcome your alcohol and anxiety problems today. Get reliable care at our facility. Call 866-782-0247 now to begin recovery.