When Anxiety and Addiction Collide

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Anxiety and depression are often the unwanted takeaways of a long history of alcoholism and addiction. Mood swings, behavioral changes, anxiety attacks, and depressive episodes are common side effects of the disease that can become an everyday norm for addicted individuals.

Not only is the addicted person’s mental health severely affected but their family life can be hampered beyond imagination, making their situation even more dire. Their personal relationships, social life, professional performance, life goals, etc. can all be negatively affected. The same is true for their family members as well.

Anxiety Appears in Many Forms

So, how many forms can this one term – “anxiety” – actually take in your everyday life? Probably a lot more than you think. Anxiety rears its ugly head in many ways, especially for those who are struggling with alcoholism and addiction. These include:

  • Fear of any unknown situation, such as what will happen next
  • Constant feeling of powerlessness, like you have no control over your feelings, body, mind, or addiction
  • Severe stress about petty life issues or daily chores
  • Disruption of all parts of your life, including professional, academic, social, family, etc.
  • Never feeling relaxed despite having free time to do anything you want
  • Losing interest in your most beloved hobbies and activities
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Lethargy or physical weakness throughout the day, even with proper rest

Treatment for Addiction-Related Anxiety

Anxiety can happen to anyone. You might not be addicted to alcohol or drugs, yet still feel anxious or depressed all the time. Thankfully, there are multiple treatment options available. However, when you have a dual condition of substance abuse coupled with an anxiety disorder (also known as a co-occurring disorder), you need to seek professional help. Having anxiety does not mean it’s the end of your recovery journey, but it is a hindrance that can be avoided with proper care.

Unfortunately, too many people use alcohol and drugs to mask or numb their feelings of anxiety, causing their addiction and anxiety to feed off each other. When the substances wear off, the anxiety remains. To treat anxiety effectively, one needs therapy and treatment – not a greater reliance on substances. Turning to a trusted recovery program for help can allow you to work on your anxiety and depression worries as well.

Therapy and treatment for addiction-related anxiety are largely based on the following thought processes:

  • Using alcohol and drug dependence to treat anxiety traps the person in a vicious cycle.
  • Therapy and treatment help you recognize, face, and curb your fears.
  • Therapy and treatment help you learn to face other people again, especially in social and public events.
  • Therapy and treatment help erode all nightmares, bad memories, and flashbacks of your addiction-ridden past.
  • Therapy and treatment involve your family members as well, making them a great support system for the recovery process.
  • Therapy and treatment work to eliminate any and all thoughts of doom and death.
  • A solid therapy and treatment plan strengthens your mind and body and can help you rebuild your life.
  • Therapy and treatment identify all your trigger points and helps you learn new coping mechanisms.
  • Your therapist understands that your addiction is a disease of isolation, anxiety, and self-hatred.
  • Therapy and treatment help you adapt to recovery by giving you courage and a willingness to approach topics that you might otherwise stay from.


How the 12-Steps Can Help

Jaywalker Lodge is well-reputed for its multidisciplinary approach and individual-specific techniques for recovery treatment. Our professional staff helps men who struggle with addiction manage their physical and psychological symptoms while treating anxiety simultaneously. We have dedicated experts who listen to and address personal life stories, case-specific symptoms, family history, and other addiction-specific factors.

Outdoor activities and mountain-based expeditions in the Lodge’s pristine mountain community serve as much-needed and stress-relieving icebreakers. Breaking away from the tension, stress, and anxiety of daily life, the 12-Step program at Jaywalker Lodge is beautifully designed to allow addicted individuals to escape to nature for holistic healing.

Our program is also built on making the most of the various opportunities and challenges that occur during the process of addiction recovery. We’ll help you stand strong against any odds that may arise, especially feelings of anxiety and depression. By giving you a solid, anxiety-free foundation, we can help prevent your chances of relapse and get you back on solid ground.

Anxiety has no place in our lives, and certainly not when we are already struggling to find last sobriety. With the right therapy and treatment plan, you can work to end anxiety for good.

Anxiety can take many forms, both physical and psychological. This is especially true for those who suffer from the disease of alcoholism and addiction, who tend to use substances to mask their signs and symptoms. Rather than losing all hope of ever having a “normal” life, the men at Jaywalker Lodge are given dedicated therapy and treatment plans to address any co-occurring anxiety disorders. At Jaywalker Lodge, we encourage everyone to curb their anxiety effectively and as quickly as possible, and we give them the tools and support they need to do so. With the right mix of therapy and treatment, you and your family can look forward to a happier and more relaxed life ahead. Don’t stay trapped in anxiety forever – just follow the path to Jaywalker Lodge and the 12-Step program. We’ll be here to help you every step of the way. Call us now at (866) 529-9255

author avatar
Stefan Bate, MA, LAC, CCTP Chief Clinical Officer
Stefan Bate, BA, MA, LAC holds a Master's Degree in Applied Psychology from Regis University and is a Licensed Addiction Counselor in the state of Colorado. Stefan has wide-ranging experience in the field of addiction recovery including: working as a recovery coach, therapist, and program director.

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