The world moves at lightning speed these days, zipping along at the speed of technology. The pace of everything increases and what you have to fit into any given day feels like it’s all of a sudden on an exponential curve. Deadlines pile up. Even your downtime for relaxation or fun with family and friends seems to require scheduling. Illness or trauma takes even more time away. Add to that the social media which has us constantly comparing our lives to those of others who, like us, only post the best highlights of their lives.
It’s a frenetic existence that can easily become overwhelming and, consequently, it shouldn’t be surprising to learn that among Americans, one of the most common mental illnesses is an anxiety disorder.
Roughly 19.1% of adults have had an anxiety disorder in the past year which equates to somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 million people. Among those, nearly a quarter (22.8%) had a serious impairment. Even more disconcertingly is the fact that almost a third (31.9%) of adolescents had some type of anxiety disorder as well.
The unfortunate reality is that rather than seek treatment for an anxiety disorder, people will often turn to coping mechanisms like drugs and alcohol. Research by the Harvard Review of Psychiatry notes that “anxiety disorders co-occur with substance use disorders at a high rate in both the general population and in treatment-seeking sample”. That echoes the sentiment from an earlier investigation into the issue which found that “the comorbidity between specific mood and anxiety disorders and specific drug use disorders is pervasive in the U.S. population”.
Before delving deeper into that, it’s worth noting that going through occasional bouts of anxiety is a standard part of life. It’s normal and anxiety is a common reaction to stress, danger and other uncomfortable scenarios.
An anxiety disorder, however, is a different animal altogether, the intensity of which causes real and tangible interference with daily life.
At Thrive Treatment℠ we accept most private insurance plans and we are in network with Cigna, Optum, First Health, and Anthem Blue Cross. Additional payment options are available so don’t hesitate to give us a call so we can get you the help that you need.
Anxiety disorder is a catchall term for a number of more specific kinds of anxiety. The National Institute of Mental Health describes them as such:
Excessive anxiety, tension and worry with very little provocation on most days for a period of at least 6 months. Generalized Anxiety Disorder is characterized by:
Unexpected and repeated episodes of intense and sudden anxiety and fear culminating in a “peak” aka a panic attack during which a person could experience:
Fear and anxiety centered around a specific situation or object that is drastically disproportionate to the actual danger. Common phobias are a fear of flying, height or specific things like spiders.
An intense fear of social situations and feeling overwhelmingly self-conscious and consumed by the worry of judgment from others.
A tremendous worry of places and spaces that you think are difficult to leave or escape from. Specifically, it’s a fear of two or more of these scenarios:
Anxiety stemming from a fear of being separated from someone to whom you’re attached to. While this most affects children, this is something adults experience as well.
Also most commonly occurring in kids, this is a fear and anxiety to speak in social settings despite having the ability to do so.
Living in a state of constant anxiety – of fear, worry and tension – is draining and it can be downright incapacitating if panic attacks are involved. Anxiety disorders can’t be compartmentalized and they slowly bleed into all facets of your life, forcing you to avoid certain situations, places, things eventually creating a very lonely and isolating existence.
For 1 in 5 people, the discomfort of anxiety eventually leads to substance abuse. Seeking comfort, solace and an easing of the fears and stresses in the form of drugs and alcohol. Of course, this only creates a new problem. The anxiety is not only still there after using but it can be intensified by substances which leads to a sort of vicious cycle of ever increasing abuse that turns into an addiction. You feel anxiety so you drink or take drugs to quiet it only to have it be louder…so you take more drugs or drink more alcohol and need increasingly large doses to get the same effect as the last time.
There are other ways out of an anxiety disorder.
Everyone reaches a limit and breaking point where the impact of anxiety becomes too much to handle. Where your relationships with family and friends become strained from avoidance. Where your performance at work or school suffers from the constant worry.
When the impairment reaches that tipping point – where you’re consumed with fear, the isolation is overwhelming and your life feels as though it’s in a constant state of interruption – it’s time to seek help before turning to substances.
More importantly, if you or a loved one has fallen into alcohol or drug use as a means of dealing with anxiety, now is absolutely the time to get help because allowing substance abuse to linger will only serve to cause greater problems down the road.
Trying to overcome anxiety on your own is an enormous task and a trained anxiety specialist is an invaluable resource in helping guide you to back a healthy mental state.
Treating anxiety is naturally made even more difficult if it’s coupled with a substance abuse disorder. These two mental illnesses work off of each other and end up further ingraining and cementing themselves in your life. It’s what’s known as a dual diagnosis and treating both anxiety and addiction together is the treatment approach that gives you the greatest chance at living a sober and more serene life.
We create a customized treatment program for each and every patient whether they’re solely suffering from anxiety or are in need of dual diagnosis care.
The programs at Thrive Treatment revolve around talk therapy, an evidence-based and proven approach to treating anxiety. With Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, for example, a licensed therapist will help you learn different ways to think and react to triggers that would ordinarily produce anxiety while also delving into the root causes of it as well as the accompanying addiction. These sessions are done both individualized as well as in a group setting.
In addition to psychotherapy and other modern therapeutic practice, we take a holistic approach that ensures you work towards a greater emotional well-being as well.
Anxiety isn’t permanent and you can control it rather than having it control you. Anxiety help in Los Angeles at Thrive Treatment is focused on just that. Our anxiety specialists, addiction professionals and trained support staff are here for the sole purpose of helping you rebuild your mental health and get you on the path of lasting recovery.
Get in touch with us today to start the journey.
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