The Connection Between Anxiety/depression And Addiction
Substance abuse in connection with a mental health problem is called a dual diagnosis. The same study reported that just 7.4% of individuals with a dual diagnosis received drug addiction treatment for both in a professional setting. Oftentimes, individuals do not seek treatment as their mental health prevents them from doing so independently.
Drug addiction and relapse and conditions like anxiety are connected in many ways. Sources they have in common include difficulty:
- Thinking: Difficulty concentrating or focusing can impact ones ability to function, increase anxiety, and affect their ability to make decisions. Many seek drugs such as highly addictive amphetamines to focus and counter these symptoms.
- Socializing: Social anxiety can contribute to drug use and interfere with recovery. The thought of attending group therapy sessions or peer counseling can invoke intense feelings of fear and anxiety.
- Sleeping: Anxiety and depression are linked with sleep disturbances, and drugs are often a solution for those who are always struggling whats on their mind. Stimulants and other drugs can make this problem worse, leading to a cycle in which poor sleep/anxiety leads to drug use, the substances exacerbate the problem, and the person takes more to compensate.
- Persistent sadness
- Disinterest in hobbies and pleasure
- Feelings of negativity, helplessness, or hopelessness
- Memory and concentration problems
Emotional First Aid Kit
An emotional first aid kit can provide an immediate, although temporary, positive effect on the way we think and feel.; Having an emotional first aid kit readily available can help people who are struggling with symptoms of depression, anxiety, low self esteem, or other mental and emotional issues.;;
Chronic Stress Can Make Us Lose Sight Of What Brings Us Joy Rediscovering That Joyand Letting Go Of Guiltjust Might Tip The Scales Back To Happiness
Weve all heard of worker burnout; in fact, its recognized as an occupational hazard, especially in people-centered fields like health care and education. But increasingly were hearing of parent burnout, creative burnout, and more. All of this buzz makes us wonder: What exactly is burnout? It turns out, it has a lot to do with balance.
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The Benefits Of Writing A Journal
- Once you write things down it is easier to let them go. So now you easily deal with all your negative thoughts and causes of stress.
- It will help you get stronger by overcoming fear and it can also track your progress. So if you wrote about one problem yesterday then you are less likely to write about that same problem today.
- Journaling has been a greate friends tyo the ones who cant socialize much.
- It helps you empower yourself. You would be able to see and visualize your life through a new perspective. It will help you cope with stress and anxiety.
Limit Caffeine And Alcohol
Too much caffeine restricts blood vessels, which can increase blood pressure and contribute to anxiety. Coping with anxiety also doesnt mean masking it with alcohol.
Alcohol can interfere with the neurotransmitters that manage anxiety and prevent you from getting a good nights sleep. Drinking to cope creates a sort of feedback loop, which makes the anxiety worse and can lead to alcohol dependence, reports Vice.
If You Need To Wallow Wallow But Do So Constructively
Suppressing your feelings and emotions may seem like a strategic way to cope with the negative symptoms of depression. But this technique is ultimately unhealthy.
If youre having a down day, have it. Let yourself feel the emotions but dont stay there.
Consider writing or journaling about what youre experiencing. Then, when the feelings lift, write about that, too.
Seeing the ebb and flow of depressive symptoms can be instructive for both self-healing and hope.
Severe Storms: How To Reduce Your Anxiety
Anticipating the arrival of a hurricane, tornado, blizzard, or any severe storm strikes fear and anxiety in the people in its path for good reason. Natural disasters disrupt lives in significant ways, including creating physical and mental health problems and major economic challenges. And the never-ending news about a storms arrival may increase your anxiety, stress, and fear.Here are some tips to help you take care of your own mental health, as well as your familys before and after a storm.
Its only natural to feel scared, anxious, and nervous. Recognize your emotions and try these tips to alleviate your anxiety.
- Create a plan A well-prepared plan for your family can help reduce anxiety and chaos before, during, and afterward. Make an evacuation plan and compile preparedness kits. Get tips from the Red Cross.;
- Be informed Stay up-to-date on weather information and warnings. If youre aware of the latest information, you may gain a sense of control over the situation.
- Talk it out Share your fears with family members, friends, a counselor, or others who can offer emotional support.
- Accept what you cant control Nobody can control the path of a storm or its damage. And excessive worrying that one may hit you will not change anything except your emotional well-being.
Take tips from the Mayo Clinic for talking to kids about weather-related anxiety:
After the Storm
Prolonged Anxiety and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
Getting Help For Teenage Anxiety
If anxiety has started to interfere with your childs everyday activities, your child might have an anxiety problem or disorder. These problems can be treated, and the earlier theyre treated the less theyll affect your childs development.
Your child will need professional support.
Options for professional support include:
How To Treat Anxiety And Depression Without Drugs
Drug addiction not only affects the millions of individuals who struggle with it, but also their families, friends, and coworkers. The problem often isnt just the substances abused. Users of both illegal and prescription drugs not only deal with cravings and compulsions, but also from issues such as anxiety and depression. These co-occurring disorders often present challenges during addiction recovery. In fact, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration estimates over 8.2 million people in the U.S. suffer from both drug addiction and a mental health disorder, per a 2016 survey.
Take Some Steps On Your Own
Get organized. “Less clutter in your physical surroundings, email inbox, and to-do bucket will help your mind be more at ease,” Braslow says. You donât have to tackle it all at once. Make a plan to work on one area at a time.
Make new goals. Is there something youâve always wanted to do, or a place you want to go? Create a step-by-step, realistic plan to make it happen.
Do something meaningful. Get involved in an activity that feels important to you. It may be athletic, political, spiritual, or a social cause where you can volunteer. Look for something that gives you a sense of purpose.
Be creative. Direct your focus into something constructive. Rediscover your strengths. If you have a long-lost talent or interest, dive back into it. Braslow suggests trying poetry, music, photography, or design.
Read a good book. It’s a great way to relax. Thereâs even research that shows that reading books on spirituality or psychology may boost your mood.
Try Supplements Or Change Your Diet
Changing your diet or taking supplements is definitely a long-term strategy. Research shows certain supplements or nutrients can help anxiety reduction.
- kava kava
- dark chocolate
However, it can take up to three months before your body is actually running on the nutrition these herbs and foods provide. If youre taking other medications, make sure to discuss herbal remedies with your doctor.
What The Expert Says
A depressed person is compromised in dealing with problematic situations, says Stacey Stickley, a licensed professional counselor practicing in Ashburn, Virginia. When a person is dealing with depression, things may seem more negative than they really are. Events that would have been taken in stride may seem more problematic or impossible to handle. The idea of taking action on things may require more of a persons resources, resources that are already compromised due to the depression.
Talk to your doctor about pharmacological options, or go talk to a counselor about evaluating and managing your symptoms, she says. Dont wait. Being proactive is important so you can maybe stop the downward slide sooner. Its easier to climb out of a shallow hole than one you have been slowly digging and tunneling into for several months.
Meet Yourself Where You Are
Depression is common. It affects millions of people, including some in your life. You may not realize they face similar challenges, emotions, and obstacles.
Every day with this disorder is different. Its important to take your mental health seriously and accept that where you are right now isnt where youll always be.
The key to self-treatment for depression is to be open, accepting, and loving toward yourself and what youre going through.
What Are The Six Types Of Anxiety Disorders
Here are the six most common types of anxiety disorders:
Its Harder To Exercise When Youre Depressed
Exercise is a great source of energy, but feelings of depression might make it harder for you to want to work out on a regular basis. Depression can cause you to experience a lack of motivation in many aspects of life, and this can channel into a lack of desire to exercise.
But dont think that this lack of exercise is because of laziness. This couldnt be further from the truth!
Summoning the motivation to exercise is already hard enough. But feelings like reduced self-esteem and pessimism are specific depressive attitudes that research suggests may be interfering with your exercise.
Its completely understandable that you might not be working out as much as you used to or would like to. Recognizing that these thought patterns are a result of depression means youre better equipped to deal with the challenge of motivating yourself to exercise.
Aim To Exercise More And Start Small If You Need To
Though depressive attitudes may make it harder to work out, implementing an exercise routine thats realistic and attainable in your everyday life can ease depression fatigue.
Exercise has the added benefit of improving your sleep, too.
Its OK to start small even just walking for 30 minutes a day will likely boost your energy and mood. Exercise is truly an organic and reliable way to help address your depression fatigue.
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Fear is one of the most powerful emotions. It has a very strong effect on your mind and body.
Fear can create strong signals of response when were in emergencies for instance, if we are caught in a fire or are being attacked.
It can also take effect when youre faced with non-dangerous events, like exams, public speaking, a new job, a date, or even a party. Its a natural response to a threat that can be either perceived or real.
Anxiety is a word we use for some types of fear that are usually to do with the thought of a threat or something going wrong in the future, rather than right now.
Fear and anxiety can last for a short time and then pass, but they can also last much longer and you can get stuck with them. In some cases they can take over your life, affecting your ability to eat, sleep, concentrate, travel, enjoy life, or even leave the house or go to work or school. This can hold you back from doing things you want or need to do, and it also affects your health.
Some people become overwhelmed by fear and want to avoid situations that might make them frightened or anxious. It can be hard to break this cycle, but there are lots of ways to do it. You can learn to feel less fearful and to cope with fear so that it doesnt stop you from living.
How Do I Get Help
Talking therapies, like counselling or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, are very effective for people with anxiety problems, including Computerised Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, which takes you through a series of self-help exercises on screen. Visit your GP to find out more.
Drug treatments are used to provide short-term help, rather than looking at the root of the anxiety problems. Drugs may be most useful when they are combined with other treatments or support.
You can learn a lot about managing anxiety from asking other people who have experienced it. Local support groups or self-help groups bring together people with similar experiences so that they can hear each others stories, share tips and encourage each other to try out new ways to manage themselves. Your doctor, library or local Citizens Advice bureau will have details of support groups near you.
Tip : Get A Daily Dose Of Sunlight
Sunlight can help boost serotonin levels and improve your mood. Whenever possible, get outside during daylight hours and expose yourself to the sun for at least 15 minutes a day. Remove sunglasses and use sunscreen as needed.
- Take a walk on your lunch break, have your coffee outside, enjoy an al fresco meal, or spend time gardening.
- Double up on the benefits of sunlight by exercising outside. Try hiking, walking in a local park, or playing golf or tennis with a friend.
- Increase the amount of natural light in your home and workplace by opening blinds and drapes and sitting near windows.
- If you live somewhere with little winter sunshine, try using a light therapy box.
How I Cope With Stress And Depression
1. Practice Mindfulness
I learned about mindfulness for depression in therapy. Mindfulness is about staying in the present moment and allowing yourself to acknowledge and accept your feelings. Often our stress gets out of hand because we’ve tried to ignore stressful situations or allowed ourselves to feel guilty about certain thoughts or feelings we have. We also have a tendency to worry about the past or be anxious about the future, and those anxieties increase both stress and depression.
Practicing mindfulness can help us overcome all of these tendencies. It has helped me slow down and truly experience life. It has also taught me not to feel guilty about my feelings. Sometimes I’ll even say aloud, just to myself, “I feel stressed and frustrated right now because . . .” And then I’ll follow that with a positive statement, which leads to the next point.
2. Speak Positive Thoughts
Speaking positive thoughts aloud helps me deal with stress and depression. As an example, I might add to the above statement, “You can get through this. You’ve done hard things before. You can do it again.”
You may feel silly at first, but in time, it will become second nature. Eventually, you may not have to speak the words or even concentrate on thinking the words; the calm confidence in yourself will just be there.
Start small, take baby steps, and speak positively to yourself along the way. You may be surprised by how much of that stress is chipped away each time you accomplish another task .
What Are The Signs Of Anxiety
Anxiety is a natural reaction to stress or threat. In fact, it’s likely a hard-wired safety response part of the “fight or flight” instinct. When we or someone we care about is at risk, our brain prioritizes the danger and focuses its energy on beating it.
Complex thinking processes are shut down to allow us to concentrate on the danger at hand. Meanwhile, signals go out to our body to prepare for action. Our breathing quickens, our heart starts pumping faster, sending more blood to our muscles as we prepare to fight or flee. Both the mind and body adapt in order to give us the best chance of surviving until the danger passes.
However, the same responses can be triggered when there is no immediate physical danger. Just thinking about a threat, past or future, can be enough to activate intense anxiety. And this can mean that there’s also no clear end point to the threat, so all these anxious feelings can persist. In these circumstances, anxiety can evolve into something thats problematic.
Feeling a little anxious before a big exam, for example, might focus your mind and energize you to give your best performance on the day. But if it becomes too much, it could make you feel sick, prevent you from sleeping properly, and leave you with a shaky hand and a wandering mind when the exam begins.
Later in this article we’ll explore ways to manage anxious situations like this.
What You Eat And Drink Can Also Affect How You Feel
Theres no magic diet that will treat depression. But what you put into your body can have a real and significant impact on the way you feel.
Eating a diet rich in lean meats, vegetables, and grains may be a great place to start. Try to limit stimulants like caffeine, coffee, and soda, and depressants like alcohol.
Some people also and have more energy when they avoid sugar, preservatives, and processed foods.
If you have the means, consider meeting with a doctor or registered dietitian for guidance.