Treatment for Addiction and Anxiety
“I would feel anxiety like a lump of coal in my stomach. My thoughts would race so fast I felt sure I would lose my mind – I would spend whole days on the verge of panic. I felt so afraid and powerless. In the beginning, getting drunk would calm me down, but this stopped working, and I felt worse than ever”
One of the reasons you may have started to abuse alcohol or drugs in the first place was an attempt to manage your anxiety. In the beginning, it may have felt as if it is working, but self-medication just makes things much worse because it can easily cause addiction. Substance abuse then becomes a source of increasing anxiety in your life – it leads to a situation where you are getting high to escape the problems created by being high all the time.
“This cycle of self-medication and rebound anxiety digs a deeper and deeper hole for the addicted person making treatment and breaking this downward spiral harder and harder as time goes by.”
Joseph Troncale, M.D. (Psychology Today – When Addiction Meets Your Brain)
Importance of Providing Treatment of Addiction and Anxiety
Alcohol and drug rehabilitation centres can not only help you escape addiction but also provide you with effective tools for dealing with anxiety levels. These tools are crucial because you will not be able to settle comfortably into sobriety unless your anxiety is under control – it would mean you were at high risk of relapse.
Sometimes anxiety is having such a disruptive effect on a persons’ life that they require specialised care. If you have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, the best option for you would be ‘dual diagnosis’ treatment. We offer this type of programme here at Twin Rivers.
Treatment for Anxiety at Twin Rivers Rehab
During your time with us here at Twin Rivers, you are going to learn how to manage your anxiety without the need of alcohol or drugs. Some of the strategies we will be using include:
The 12 Steps offer an effective path for managing stress and worry because this programme teaches you about acceptance and letting go. Anxiety is caused by negative patterns of thinking involving the past or future, but the 12 Steps show you how to live your life one day at a time. Regular sessions with Twin Rivers psychologist and addiction counsellors will also impact a clients relationship with anxiety.
“To those of us who have hitherto known only excitement, depression, or anxiety – in other words, to all of us – this newfound peace is a priceless gift.”
Alcoholics Anonymous: 12 Steps and Twelve Traditions
Mindfulness is another technique for dealing with anxiety, and there is now growing evidence to support its effectiveness. This is all about learning to live in the moment and becoming more objective about your thoughts and emotions. You can develop your ability to be mindfulness through many different practices including yoga, meditation, drumming and even just walking in nature – anything that puts you more in touch with the present moment could be described as a mindfulness practice.
David is the Clinical and Development Director of Twin Rivers Rehab in South Africa and a UK Accredited Addictions Therapist with the Federation of Drug and Alcohol Professionals UK. Articles/Blogs are written with the assistance of researchers and other specialists in the field of addiction and the recovery process