Happiness is the highest from of health

Anxiety May Lead to SUD and Vice Versa

Anxiety disorders impact nearly 40 million Americans aged 18 or older. This translates into a significant 18.1 percent of the adult population. There are various kinds of anxiety disorders, such as social anxiety disorder (SAD), generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and phobia. An untreated anxiety disorder can lead to substance abuse. Given below are few scenarios where a person with an anxiety-related condition develops a substance use disorder (SUD) or vice versa:

  • Self-medication brings relief to such people from fearful thoughts and excessive worry about impending events.
  • Prolonged use of a drug changes brain chemistry that alters the way one behaves, thinks and feels.
  • People suffering from social phobia are often prescribed benzodiazepines, which are addictive in nature. Prolonged and consistent use beyond the doctor’s advice results in one getting caught in the cycle of abuse and addiction.

The chances of delayed diagnosis and treatment or misdiagnosis of co-occurring disorders are high due to the complexity and severity of the symptoms. A patient might be treated just for one condition while the other remains hidden. In order to provide complete relief and make the recovery long-lasting, it is imperative to treat the co-occurring disorders simultaneously. Undiagnosed, untreated or insufficiently treated cases increase the likelihood of suicide and death.

For a long time, tranquilizers like benzodiazepines were considered the apt treatment for anxiety. In some cases, even antidepressants are prescribed. Though both anxiety and depression are distinct mental health conditions, both revolve around serotonin, the mood regulator hormone. Currently, the most common medications for anxiety disorders include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) and older tricyclic antidepressants.

Apart from medications, there are various therapies that are beneficial in treating co-occurring disorders, such as:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): CBT is a combination of psychotherapy and behavioral therapy. Its goal is to identify and understand the root cause of the problem, and improve the way one thinks and behaves.
  • Eye movement and desensitization reprocessing (EMDR): It is a revolutionary therapy which is highly effective in the treatment of patients with a trauma or past anxiety. The therapy is based on bilateral stimulation and right/left eye movements, which have the effect of activating the opposite sides of the brain. In the process, emotional experiences that are often the root of a mental health condition are released. The effect is cathartic and the individual feels free.
  • Mindfulness: Mindfulness therapy is related to the Zen philosophy of being in the present instead of dwelling either in the future or in the past. Living in the future is the root cause of anxiety and depression, whereas being obsessed about the past is stressful. When a person is mindful, he/she stays active, becomes aware of the surroundings and takes into account current experiences without taking stress by anticipating what lies ahead.

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), only a third of people with anxiety disorders seek medical assistance. Anxiety disorders are treatable, provided one seeks timely help. If delayed, it may give rise to an SUD, leading to a more complicated condition – dual diagnosis. It is even more important to treat co-occurring disorders using an integrated approach that requires collaboration across disciplines. This can help in reducing cost of hospitalization and those related to loss of productivity, and improve the overall quality of life.

About Anxiety and Movies

This went on for half a decade, and needless to say that all the while, I was disinterested in watching exciting movies. Nervous excitement, tension and adrenaline rushes were my everyday and I had no need of additional ‘pumping up’ in search of entertainment.

My pulse would race, my heart ache, my head spin, and the excitement in the movie soon made me feel claustrophobic, so that I had to be out of the room. It can be so hard to explain that anxiety brings real, physical effects, but they go undetected and disbelieved because doctors can’t distinguish the changes in chemicals that we carry naturally. This leads to the frequent assumption of their being no obvious ’cause’.

It’s not only us mortals that suffer from anxiety attacks though. We may be sitting there watching a movie star who themselves has experienced the stress of an anxiety disorder.

Friend-of-the celebrities Joe Beleznay is among the many celebrities who ave spoken out about their anxiety and its physical effects. He told Rolling Stone: “It was heart palpitations, shortness of breath, coldness and shivers, strange stuff, and we’d be like, ‘You’re totally fine. You’re not having a heart attack.'”

Mental health charity Mind backs up these observations on its website, which lists the physical sensations of anxiety:

  • nausea (feeling sick)
  • tense muscles and headaches
  • pins and needles
  • feeling light headed or dizzy
  • faster breathing
  • sweating or hot flushes
  • a fast, thumping or irregular heart beat
  • raised blood pressure
  • difficulty sleeping
  • needing the toilet more frequently, or less frequently
  • churning in the pit of your stomach
  • experiencing panic attacks

The list is long and fairly general, and rather than focusing on the nature of your symptoms, it is better to consider how much they affect your life: a severe anxiety disorder will be having a severe impact on your day-to-day living, and the enjoyment of simple pleasures such as an occasional movie are included in this.

While my own symptoms eased in time and with understanding, treatment and support from others; I still have a lower tolerance for excitement. So there’s no Tom Cruise in my life any more!

If you’re suffering from debilitating anxiety, please know that you are not alone.

At anxiety.town we provide a place for the sharing of feelings and experiences by those who live with anxiety on a daily basis.

With our psychologist blogger, webhost Jemma who has her own lived experience, and the words and support of others who know just how you feel, together we can find a way to cope, to adapt, and to renew our hope for a life lived with pleasure and contentment.

Manage Depression And Anxiety

A person that is pushed over the top of his emotional stability can result in post traumatic stress disorder or in desensitization. The person suffering becomes an emotional time bomb that can explode at the slightest pinch. There are people who experience serious depression and that can have serious consequences.

Methylation is a process where some chemicals called “methyl groups” are added to DNA, other molecules and various constituents of proteins to keep them working in an ideal condition.

There is a chemical in our brain called Serotonin that works like a natural antidepressant. If Serotonin is not methylated, it becomes inactive and these leads into depression.

SAMe is an alternative natural solution and is more effective than many herbal antidepressants because it targets methylation. Pharmaceutical and Synthetic antidepressants do not target methylation, can cause harm in overtime and side effects.

So you are better trying a healthy and natural option that can address emotional distress with the optimal amount of SAMe and other active ingredients such as valerian, vinpocetine and hops, which have been proven to help with anxiety, mood disorders, irritability, nervousness and psychological stress.

There are some natural supplements that can help you, don’t wait for your depression to go, you can do something about it without taking risky pharmaceutical medications.

Your anxiety may be the cause of nutritional deficiency, your body is out of balance and feels out of balance. The fact is that most people who experience low mood, stress and sleepless nights can be caused by an imbalance that you can reverse naturally.

Don’t forget that having a healthy lifestyle will also help you in the process of managing your depression and reducing it. You should do some exercise, go out walk, eat healthy, talk with friends, practice a hobby and let any negativity go away.