According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), anxiety disorders affect nearly 40 million people in the United States each year – with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) affecting nearly 6.8 million adults each year. GAD is a disorder that involves persistent worry or fear about many different things, such as money, health, family, work, or other concerns. Individuals with this disorder often find it difficult to control their worry, sometimes causing them headaches, tension, stress, stomachaches, and more.
If you’ve been diagnosed with GAD, how do you manage the symptoms of your disorder? Do you speak with a therapist or have you sought treatment? Many people attempt to self-medicate their symptoms by abusing substances like alcohol to help them “lessen” or “ease” their anxiety; over time, however, this can lead to dependency, which can eventually turn into addiction. A 2017 study published in the journal Alcoholism discovered that of the 87 individuals with alcoholism who were assessed, participants who ranked higher on anxiety sensitivity reported higher drinking frequency, leading into binge drinking. Stress was shown to not affect elevated levels of drinking nearly as much as anxiety – meaning that your anxiety could be a major driving component of alcoholism if you don’t seek treatment early.
Alcoholism can cause you to become more irritable or depressed, along with these other symptoms and more:
- Slurred speech
- Increased anxiety
- Compulsive behavior
If drinking continues to increase in severity, alcoholism could occur alongside your GAD. Both of these taking place at the same time is the definition of a comorbid, or dual diagnosis, disorder. Not every treatment center specializes in this, however, so it’s important that you conduct research to determine which center and program would be the best option for you. If you haven’t already, speak with a professional from a reputable treatment center today. There are other – healthier – ways to manage the symptoms of GAD, including: yoga, meditation, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), experiential therapy, hypnotherapy, massage therapy, and much more. It’s never too late.
Simple Recovery is a world-renowned, California state-licensed substance abuse recovery center. If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction and/or mental illness, call us today at 888-743-0490 so that we can work with you to restore your happiness, health, and well-being. You do not have to continue living this way; there are many people here ready to help you.