What made you reach for that first drink? No, it wasn’t a moral weakness. Did you know that the abuse of alcohol and anxiety frequently go hand in hand? Most importantly, did you know that there’s a way to get help for both?
Which Came First: Alcohol or Anxiety?
The connection between alcohol and anxiety has a variety of twists and turns. For some women, anxiety is a trigger that leads to alcohol abuse. Constant worry and fear don’t turn off at the end of the day. The alcohol numbs then you to the point of being able to sleep.
On the other side of the equation is the fact that alcohol abuse boosts feelings of anxiety. You worry that someone finds out what you’re doing. You also spend much of your time hiding the addiction. Maybe there’s the worry that having someone find out will lead to far-reaching consequences.
Understanding the Link between Alcohol and Anxiety
Anxiety makes relaxation hard. In fact, an anxiety disorder has such an impact on your daily life that it’s almost impossible to see a way out. You’re almost always tired, unable to concentrate, tense, and short-tempered. Holding it all together gets more difficult by the day.
You drink to relax. Alcohol is a nervous system depressant with sedative properties. You use alcohol to switch off some of the tension and boost your ability to sleep. At first, it seems to work.
How an Alcohol Use Disorder Forms
Shortly, your body develops a tolerance to the drug. Now, you have to drink more just to achieve the same relaxation. It’s at this juncture that your plan fails. The continuous use of alcohol results in the development of an alcohol use disorder.
Rehab Treats Both Conditions
Rather than make anxiety better, alcohol abuse makes it worse. Alcohol use disorder care and anxiety treatment must happen at the same time for maximum effectiveness. At a rehab facility, addiction specialists custom-tailor a care protocol for you. Modalities include the following:
- Dual diagnosis treatment that helps you learn how to manage anxiety in healthy ways
- Behavioral therapy to change disruptive patterns and exchange them with positive ones
- 12-step program participation for relapse prevention planning and peer support
- Exercise therapy that focuses on returning to a healthy lifestyle
- Sober parties and participation in enjoyable activities to practice a way of life without substance abuse
As you learn to manage your anxiety, cravings for alcohol diminish. Similarly, not drinking also lessens anxiety. The stay at rehab ensures that you develop a new daily living experience that doesn’t involve the drug. It’s a premier tool for lifelong sobriety.
Finding this kind of help is possible at a treatment facility that specializes in working with women. Case in point is Soledad House. There, you work with caring therapists who help you unravel the connection between alcohol and anxiety in your life. Call 866-314-3222 today to take the first step toward recovery and healing.