Anxiety disorders are a common form of mental illness, and one that often coexists with addiction. These disorders can wreak havoc on daily life, and adding substance abuse to these problems only makes the symptoms of the mental disorder worse. Anxiety causes an individual to feel an undue amount of fear, panic, and other negative emotions, usually without any apparent cause. Everyone feels these emotions at times, but if you are suffering from anxiety disorders you will feel them frequently, and with a severity that is much more intense. For some who suffer from these conditions it may not be possible to even go about normal daily routines.
There are many types of anxiety disorders, and each mental illness can be mild, moderate, or severe. In severe forms anxiety it may make it impossible to leave your home or go out into public places, and the fear can be paralyzing at times. All anxiety disorders can have the same symptoms, but the triggers can be unique to the individual, and these symptoms can include:
- Accelerated heart rate
- Shortness of breath
- Dry mouth
- Difficulty sleeping or trouble getting sleep that is restive
- A sense of doom or catastrophe
- Fears which are unrealistic
- Muscle aches
- Feeling faint
- Passing out
Anxiety disorders affect more than forty million American adults, and this is not just normal fears or worries. If not treated then anxiety disorders can progressively become worse. Many individuals who suffer from these conditions will try and self medicate with alcohol, marijuana, or other harmful drugs, and this can be a serious mistake. A dual diagnosis of addiction and mental health disorders requires special treatment considerations.
There are many different anxiety disorders that may be diagnosed, and though they all share the same symptoms the treatment may be somewhat different in each case.
Types of anxiety disorders include:
- Generalized anxiety disorder
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD
- Panic disorder
- Phobias which are specific, such as fear of the dark or fear of heights
- Obsessive Compulsive disorder, or OCD
- Social Anxiety disorder
- Performance anxiety
If these mental illnesses are not treated the result can be permanent changes in the brain, and a daily life that includes immense fear and dread. Sometimes an anxiety disorder may actually cause symptoms severe enough to mimic a heart attack or other life threatening symptoms.