About Anxiety

Anxiety is another one of the most common conditions in psychiatry and is an almost universal co-existing condition with addiction.  Anxiety disorders, such as Panic Disorder and Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), usually result from a combination of a genetic predisposition, personal stressors, and certain psychological predispositions such as a generally fearful and negative outlook.  These conditions can also be triggered or worsened by drug and alcohol use.  The link between anxiety and addiction is very strong, especially since anxiety is the primary driving force for cravings and triggered relapses.  The tendency to seek escape from anxiety is often even higher than that for depression. The ability of drugs, especially alcohol, to create a temporary escape from anxiety creates a powerful negative reinforcer of substance use..  Vicious cycles often develop, especially with panic attacks, which can render someone nonfunctional.  The 2 elements necessary for breaking this type of negative cycle are illicit substance abstinence and anti-anxiety treatment.  The substance abstinence is a usual component of addiction treatment but the anti-anxiety aspect is not always addressed.  Effective anti-anxiety treatment will typically require a combination of medications and therapy.  An evaluation by a psychiatrist is necessary to make the appropriate diagnosis and to then prescribe the appropriate treatment.  It is strongly preferable to avoid the use of benzodiazepines or any other controlled substance when treating anxiety.  All caffeine and related stimulants should sbe stopped, especially energy drinks and workout supplements.