Is Depression Or Anxiety Causing Your Drug Addiction?


Suffering from anxiety or depression can cause a lot of stress and tension. Some people have a hard time coping with the symptoms that they have, and they turn to drugs for relief. This happens most of the time and can be a common problem for some.

People with anxiety disorders find that alcohol or other substances can make their anxiety bearable. Some find relief when under the influence of alcohol. This causes substance abuse that can lead to more severe problems.

Know The Statistics On Anxiety And Drug Addiction

Every person battling with anxiety and addiction have different stories. You can see in various personal stories on BetterHelp that not everyone is the same, and it is better to get to know the person and his symptoms, and what are the factors that led him to addiction.

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America also provides the following statistics and facts on the issue:

  • There are about 20% of Americans with anxiety or mood disorder that also have alcohol or drug addiction.
  • Alcohol and drugs cause panic attacks that worsen the symptoms of a person with anxiety disability.
  • PTSD and substance abuse are commonly together since substances like alcohol could give relief to stress, and other things make you numb so you would not feel anything for a specified period.

These are facts that could help you understand the connection between anxiety and substance abuse though this is not a proper diagnosis. The better approach for this problem is to seek a medical professional who is an expert in this kind of situation and could help a person who suffers from addiction get the best treatment possible.


Understand Triggers

You also need to learn that while getting a treatment helps, it is better to know what triggers your addiction. Since we know that anxiety can lead to addiction, find out the causes of your anxiety. For example, if you are stressed out with a situation and cannot do anything about it, you tend to turn to substances like alcohol and drugs to lessen your anxiety and discomfort. According to Susan Heitler Ph.D., “Taking pills to block negative feelings may block them from serving useful purposes.”  So what can you do to avoid these stressful situations to prevent depression and substance abuse?

Change Is Possible

You might think that your mental disorder is causing you to abuse substances and that you cannot get any help and will not get better. That is wrong. Keep in mind that the reverse is possible. Also, think about how these substances can be the cause of your depression and anxiety. Working with professionals to get better is the best way to go.

Evaluate Your Medications

People think that when you are an addict, you get your drugs from the streets and buying them illegally. However, addiction to medications is possible. For example, your doctor prescribed you medicine for your anxiety and depression. You started taking it as prescribed, but now you have been abusing it and taking one too many. This happens a lot especially to people who have overwhelming feelings of fear and nervousness. When you start noticing this behavior, consult your doctor immediately so you can find a way to stop this growing addiction before it gets worse.


Seek Assistance

It is tough for people to go through these things alone and you should not be afraid of asking for help. If you seek professional assistance, then you will surely combat these problems successfully. “When your world starts to become limited because of anxiety, that is a good signal that it’s time to seek treatment,” Monique Reynolds, Ph.D. says.

Help yourself by getting treatments and therapies. This might be a huge step, but this will be a great help in getting better. Whether your anxiety or depression is related to your addiction or not, getting therapy for both your problems will help you to be better and succeed. By the time you are finished with treatment, you will have a whole new outlook on your life, and you would feel so much better like anything is possible.

Express Honesty

Acknowledging your problems and addictions can be very hard; you would think that you are better and that what you are doing to your body will miraculously stop in an instant. You are lying to yourself. Help yourself by being honest about what you are going through. It is going to be very hard admitting you have problems, but with people who are willing to help and support you through this, you will see that you can be better.

“No matter what the reason, the doctor-patient relationship should be a partnership based on mutual trust and respect.  In a relationship of trust and respect, there is no place for dishonesty,” Stewart Segal, M.D. ellaborates.

Now, when you go to a doctor, never hide anything because this can be an essential factor for your recovery. Be honest in what makes you depressed and anxious and what makes you turn to substances for comfort and stress relief. These small details are all crucial if you want a full and fast recovery.

Whatever reasons you have, always remember that there is help and that you can get help. Speak up and let the people around you know what you are going through and show them that you are willing to change and get better.

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