About one-fifth of Americans struggle with anxiety disorders. About one-fifth of those have also developed substance use disorders (SUDs). When a person struggles with addiction and another mental health challenge, those are called co-occurring disorders. Dual diagnosis treatment is usually recommended for cases like this. Participating in an anxiety disorder treatment program is not enough if addiction also wreaks havoc in someone’s life.
If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction and anxiety, call 303-268-2144 to speak with someone from Mile High Recovery Center’s caring and compassionate staff about our dual diagnosis treatment in Denver, Colorado. Our anxiety treatment center in Denver, Colorado, offers anxiety treatment alongside addiction treatment in programs tailored for each client.
What to Know About Anxiety Disorders
People who have felt anxiety but do not have an anxiety disorder are often confused about the difference. People can feel situational anxiety around a specific event, like having to make a speech or take a huge test. It feels similar to worry or dread, but it goes away when the stressful event is over and can be helped by talking to a supportive friend.
Regular Anxiety vs. Anxiety as a Mental Health Condition
If you have an anxiety disorder, you have similar feelings of worry, dread, and sometimes crippling stress responses, but they are out of your control. You cannot prevent them from happening or make them stop. Positive thoughts, a logical explanation of why things will be okay, or friendly reassurance are powerless to help. It would be best if you had treatment.
Types of Anxiety Disorders
Anxiety disorders can negatively affect careers, relationships, and health. There are several kinds of anxiety, including:
- Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) – People struggling with this disorder cannot rid themselves of crippling worry and stress brought on by issues others may consider innocuous.
- Social anxiety disorder – This afflicts a significant number of Americans. They involve an overwhelming fear of embarrassing themselves in public, being judged by others and found wanting, and feeling overwhelmed and trapped in a social situation. Being forced into social encounters does not help people with social anxiety and can be traumatic.
- Panic disorder – This condition leads to even more severe symptoms and can co-occur with GAD or social anxiety disorder.
It is very common for people who suffer from any of these conditions to turn to alcohol and drugs to mute their anxiety symptoms. But instead of helping them function normally, the substance abuse eventually interferes even more with their ability to get through their days and often leads to addiction.
What Happens in a Dual Diagnosis of Anxiety and Addiction
When anxiety and addiction co-occur, the side effects of alcohol or drug use are often even more damaging to the brain and body systems than anxiety or substance misuse alone. Cycling between stress hormones and alcohol- or drug-triggered floods of neurotransmitters creates a dangerous feedback loop.
These cycles won’t end without professional help in an anxiety treatment center, preferably one that offers dual diagnosis treatment.
What to Expect from Anxiety Treatment in Denver, Colorado
People enrolled in Mile High Recovery’s anxiety treatment program can receive treatment for an anxiety disorder or a dual diagnosis of anxiety disorder and SUD. Each person’s treatment plan is individualized for their specific needs. Some of the tools in our toolbox of evidence-based treatments for anxiety include:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
- Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT)
- Group therapy
- Individual counseling
- Family therapy
All the above are effective for a dual diagnosis, which may also be treated with medication-assisted treatment (MAT), if appropriate, to reduce drug or alcohol cravings.