Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States, with over 40 million adults dealing with this problem.1
Not only is anxiety so common, but also, most people struggle to know how to deal with it properly. The result is a large number of people turning to drugs or alcohol to self-medicate.
How to Deal with Anxiety Without Drinking or Getting HighWhile drugs or alcohol may provide temporary relief, they can actually make mental health worse and create a vicious cycle of anxiety and substance abuse. As a dual diagnosis treatment center in Chicago, we have worked with several patients who have fallen into this trap and both problems only get worse. Instead of relying on these substances when dealing with anxiety, there are several other ways to deal with anxiety in a healthy manner.
Take a Time OutAnxiety is often the result of a racing mind. Instead of indulging these chaotic and often negative thought patterns, take a moment to yourself. Try to control your breathing and organize your thoughts. When you can step away, it gives you time to clear your mind and recognize the absurdity of these thoughts that could be fueling your anxiety.
Find a Healthy OutletEveryone is different and you will need to find what works for you, but outlets are a great way to distract yourself from your anxiety. This could be everything from yoga to going for a brisk walk. When you can mentally distance yourself from the situation, you will find that your anxiety loses some of its power.
Practice Therapy TechniquesThere are several mental health and addiction therapy programs that can not only help with anxiety but also address why you feel the need to use drugs or alcohol in these situations. These programs can teach you how to recognize the connection between your anxiety and substance abuse, as well as how to overcome these triggers without drugs.
Write it DownJournaling can be cathartic for many people as it allows you to release the thoughts and feelings that could be holding your mind captive. Writing down what is worrying you can also make the problem seem more manageable.
Avoid CaffeineDealing with anxiety could be as easy as cutting out coffee for some people. Like drugs and alcohol, caffeine can actually make anxiety worse or even create panic attacks. It is a stimulant that increases a person’s heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing, all symptoms similar to those of an anxiety attack.
Get Professional HelpWhen your anxiety becomes too much to handle on your own, there is no shame in asking for help. There are several anxiety and panic disorders health centers and rehabs out there that can help you work through these problems. Especially if you find yourself relying on drugs and alcohol to cope on a regular basis, you should get help before matters get worse. Addiction can actually make anxiety worse and lead to other serious problems.
Don’t fall farther into a vicious cycle of anxiety attacks and substance abuse. If you have developed an addiction as a result of your anxiety, it is time to get help.
Call us today at 888-280-4763 to learn more about Banyan Chicago and how we may be able to help.
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