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Monday, March 13, 2017

Anxiety Linked to Alcohol Abuse More Than Stress

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illnesses in the United States, impacting roughly 40 million adults. Unfortunately, however, only one-third seek proper treatment and many turn to drugs or alcohol to self-medicate or alleviate unpleasant symptoms. 

Indeed, anxiety has long been liked to substance abuse — and a new small study found that it has an even strong connection than stress when it comes to intensity of drinking, alcohol craving during early withdrawal, and alcohol craving and stress reactivity.

In addition to getting proper treatment for both substance abuse and mental illness, often called a dual diagnosis or co-occurring condition, a few practical strategies can help you better cope with anxiety. 

Start with these adopted from the Anxiety and Depression Association of America:
  • Identify your anxiety triggers. Is it family or work or something else? Keeping track of when you’re most anxious can help you figure out any patterns. 
  • Take a time-out. Find a relaxation technique that works for you, whether yoga, tai chi, meditation or simply listening to music.
  • Turn negative thoughts into positive ones. Make a conscious effort to change the tone of our thoughts. For example, instead of thinking, “I’m going to have a hard time adjusting to sobriety,” think, “I’ll face some challenges, but my support network will help me come up with solutions that will ultimately lead to a happier, healthier life.”  
  • Slowly count to 10. Repeat, and count to 20 if needed. 
  • Do your best. Perfection is impossible. Be proud of yourself and your accomplishments, no matter how small or big. 
  • Talk to someone. Let friends and loved ones know when you feel anxious or overwhelmed and let them know how to help. A therapist or addiction counselor can also help. 
  • Help someone else. Take the focus away from your anxiety and place the emphasis on another person’s feelings. This could mean volunteering or cooking a friend a nice meal. 
Get Anxiety Help at Complete Harmony
Let our trained professionals help you find a personalized path of recovery – one that addressed anxiety and addiction. To learn more, call today: 866-930-4673.

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