We’re born with feelings of anxiety as a way to protect ourselves by being alert and aware that our lives are fragile. Anxiety for some is a normal feeling that occurs when something goes wrong at home or when work pressures build up. However, for those that have clinical anxiety these feelings of fear and worry that are out of proportion do not go away. These feelings for people affected by chronic stress experience disproportionate fear every single day, and with every situation they encounter. Anxiety can make it difficult for those affected to live their lives when they are continually burdened with the stress and fear of what’s to come.
Imagine trying to enjoy all the wonderful, little things in life when you feel this way all the time–it’s often too much to bear for these patients. At Cypress Lakes Lodge we see many patients enter into our recovery programs that suffer from anxiety and substance abuse. These patients have never been properly diagnosed or taught how to manage their symptoms of anxiety effectively so they can perform their daily activities without the obstacles anxiety adds to their lives.
Anxiety is defined as a mental health condition where the brain is trained to hyper-focus on any situation and create stress due to obsession with future problems. These problems don’t exist at the present moment, but those with anxiety will magnify any future stresses if it relates to a recurring predicament. Many of these issues can be traced back to a single incident, but some of these anxieties are ingrained in the patient as a lifestyle. Most people have no idea they have it, but we can usually tell when something doesn’t feel right.
Any symptoms of anxiety can take a toll on the body. The immune system suffers from sleep deprivation, and the cardiovascular system suffers from the stress as the heart works overtime to increase blood flow. Over time people with anxiety feel worn down, they eat poorly, and cannot maintain a healthy weight since cortisol (a stress hormone) builds up in the body causing fat storage and weight gain. In order to feel healthy in the mind and body, we look to reduce stresses significantly in all of our patients, especially those with anxiety.
Symptoms of anxiety:
- Worrying excessively
- Inability to relax
- Distress about decision making and changing plans
- Intense fear
- Discomfort in social situations
- Avoidance of interaction and other things that make them uncomfortable
- Chronic illness related to stress
- Trouble sleeping or insomnia
- Raised blood pressure
- Increased heart rate
- Chronic fatigue
- Digestion issues
- Headaches due to muscle tension
Substance Abuse and Anxiety
Addictions develop as a way of self-medicating for people affected by depression, anxiety, and any post traumatic stress disorder. Some people think a drink here or there to “take the edge off” is okay, but that one drink here and there can become part of their daily routine and turn into many. The symptoms of any stress-related disorder such as anxiety are substantial and we understand that this is where addiction often comes from. Anxiety also doesn’t occur alone, but in pairs with other stress related conditions. There are many classifications of anxiety and stress-induced mental health conditions.
Each specific anxiety disorder has a different set of triggers or fears, which is why they each require an in-depth study to properly diagnose. For example, social anxiety is the fear of conversations or encounters with others that we’re not prepared for, and this type of anxiety can begin as early as kindergarten for some. These social anxieties are tough to pinpoint since many of them stem from childhood, but the more we know about them and can classify which we’re dealing with, the easier it can be to decide on a course of treatment. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, over 20% of the people affected by social anxiety also suffer from alcohol addiction.
Our patients are diagnosed early through our dual diagnosis program so we can better formulate specific plans with the right counselor, physician and integrative therapies down to the exercise, nutrition plans and support groups. We also look to create connections between current patients and our extensive list of alumni. The more we share, the better we feel. Cypress Lakes Lodge is all about creating a lasting connection between our patients and those around them that experience the same things they do. When we have standing support, the world doesn’t feel as lonely, nor does recovery seem impossible.
Some types of chronic anxieties are the following:
- Separation anxiety
- Generalized anxiety
- Illness anxiety
- Social anxiety
- Conduct disorder
- Panic disorder
- Personality disorder
Relieving Anxiety Without Medication
Clear the mind and work with others to find out what they do to ease these feelings of anxiety naturally. This is what treatment is all about, picking up new skills to naturally reduce anxieties and stress without medication. Any addiction or stress condition only becomes worse if we isolate and keep the issue to ourselves. We must share our feelings with our support network, friends, family and support groups.
Often, our patients forget that others experience these same worries and fears. We understand that it can be challenging to admit you have these issues and the stigma surrounding them doesn’t help, but we are here for you and can help you find your spiritual network or support group to act as your base. During treatment at Cypress Lakes Lodge, every patient is given a thorough education on any mental health diagnosis made and provided with tips and tricks to manage their lives in a healthy way without drugs and alcohol. We find the cause of the issue or identify our idiosyncrasies so we can find a solution.
Skills you learn in our treatment programs can be applied to your life in active recovery. We prepare our patients for situations that can cause relapse risk and any issues that can amplify their anxiety. Our patients leave our program with an active set of support options, recommendations for 12-step programs and lifestyle management skills to help make life altering changes by removing the things in their lives that make anxiety worse.
Call Cypress Lakes Lodge at (409) 331-2204 for more information and to learn how to overcome the fear and worry that anxiety creates. You can live without drugs and alcohol, while managing your anxiety using holistic methods.