Is There A Relation Between Anxiety and Addiction?
The ADAA (Anxiety and Depression Association of America) argues that nearly 20 percent of people struggling with social anxiety are dependent on alcohol or drugs. It means that to deal with anxiety issues some people resort to alcohol or drugs. As alcohol is a depressant, people struggling with anxious feelings use it in order to relieve psychological tension and unwind. However, it is not a good strategy in terms of mental health. Prolonged drinking or drug intake can lead to serious addiction in addition to anxiety problems. So this so called remedy just adds mental issues to initial disorder. Consequently, individuals get even more anxious as they cannot stop drinking alcohol or taking substances.
Moreover, a research conducted by the University of North Carolina School of Medicine points out that excessive alcohol consumption can rewire the brain. Alterations in the brain make an individual even more susceptible to the development of anxiety. Moreover, the study shows that there is a relation between alcohol intake and anxiety on a molecular level which makes it even more difficult to quit drinking.
Anxiety was my medicine for a better long time when I didn’t even know that I suffered from severe anxiety. It was almost the way I thought I was supposed to simply operate, because I had been anxious my entire life. When alcohol entered my life in my teens, it was almost a miracle, as it was the first thing I had ever tried that completely took my fear way. Things unfortunately only went downhill from there.
Those of us that suffer from anxiety must be very cautious when it comes to prescription medications and alcohol. It can definitely make a turn for the worst very quickly. Finding alternative and safer ways to deal with the anxiety has to be a priority in order to avoid these situations. I think that the biggest problem we face is the fact that we do not know what to do to deal with the panic, and alcohol and drugs seem to be the only way.