Alcoholism and Anxiety Are Co-occurring Disorders
There is a very well-known and comprehensively studied correlation between alcoholism and anxiety. Many people who struggle with untreated anxiety disorders use alcohol as a means of self-medication, drinking excessively in an attempt to combat the uncomfortable psychological symptoms they are experiencing. In some cases, excessive drinking can lead to anxiety – over time, anxiety disorders can even develop. One of the most common relationships between alcoholism is anxiety is this: the majority of men and women who suffer from social anxiety begin drinking excessively to combat their symptoms.
Does Anxiety Lead to Alcohol Misuse?
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, roughly 15 million American adults suffer from social anxiety over any given year. Roughly 20 percent of the men and women who have been professionally diagnosed with social anxiety disorder simultaneously suffer at the hands of a diagnosable alcohol abuse disorder. It can be somewhat difficult to diagnose alcoholism in a person who is suffering from social anxiety, seeing as “social drinking” is such a prevalent part of American culture. If you believe that you might be self-medicating an anxiety disorder with alcohol, there are several signs and symptoms to look for. Ask yourself the following questions, and reach out to Agape Treatment Center for more information.
- Do you drink alcohol – either in social settings or alone – more than four times a week?
- Do you often consume more than five alcoholic beverages daily?
- Do you find that once you have started drinking it is difficult to stop?
- Do you often feel worse once the effects of alcohol have worn off, sometimes spurning you to continue drinking to avoid related discomfort?
- Do you consume alcohol before meeting up with people or before participating in any social event that requires interaction?
- Have your friends or family members ever expressed concern about your drinking?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, it might be because you are suffering from an alcohol abuse disorder. The good news is that recovery is possible – and Agape Treatment Center is available to help.
Treatment for Alcoholism and Anxiety
If an individual needs treatment for an anxiety disorder and alcoholism, he or she requires dual diagnosis treatment. This essentially means that he or she will need to commit to a recovery program that treats all issues simultaneously – one that specializes in treating substance abuse and mental illnesses concurrently. Traditionally, recovery for alcoholism consists of numerous levels of clinical care including medical detox, inpatient treatment, and comprehensive aftercare planning. The person who has been struggling with alcoholism will need to undergo alcohol withdrawal in a medical detox facility, and then they will immediately transition into an inpatient treatment center where they will stay for between one and three months.
Finally, they will transition into aftercare, which typically includes involvement in a 12-step program like Alcoholics Anonymous and a continuation of individual therapy. However, if an individual is struggling with alcoholism and anxiety, the treatment program will look slightly different. The individual will still undergo medical detox and treatment in an inpatient treatment center. However, the treatment center will need to offer dual diagnosis services – including psychiatric assessments, psychiatric care, and medication management services. Anti-anxiety medications are often prescribed, and their administration will need to be closely monitored and observed. If you or someone you love has been struggling with alcoholism and anxiety, Agape Treatment Center is available to help.
Agape Treatment Center and Dual Diagnosis Disorders
Agape Treatment Center offers comprehensive dual diagnosis treatment for men and women of all ages who have been struggling with alcoholism and anxiety. We treat each problem at its root, ensuring that sobriety and mental health recovery can be adequately maintained. To learn more about the treatment services we offer to learn more about the correlation between alcohol abuse and mental health, reach out to us today.