Recovery is a lifelong process which takes people time to adjust to following addiction treatment. Anxiety is a part of everyday life but can be particularly present for individuals in recovery. Learn the distinction between normal anxiety which can be managed alone and abnormal levels of anxiety which require professional support.
The Purpose of Anxiety
The body has a fight or flight response to situations which may appear dangerous or there is less time to navigate all available options. Anxiety can prompt individuals to work harder on something and keep people safe from harm but may also play a major role in building tension and stress. Some of the following symptoms may be present in a person with anxiety:
- Dry mouth
- Lump in throat
- Racing heart
Triggers for anxiety which may occur regularly include:
- Confusion or lack of clarity around a subject
- Getting stuck in traffic
- Lack of time to meet goals
- Missing or forgetting something
- Difficult relationships with loved ones
- Coping with own or other’s illnesses
- Starting or stopping jobs, school, etc.
- Life changes (divorce, births, deaths, relocation)
A person who experiences anxiety will go through both physical and emotional symptoms, typically short-lived. Intense episodes may be tempered with rational thinking and self-help exercises. When anxiety comes up with no apparent trigger and interferes with daily life, an anxiety disorder may be present.
Abnormal anxiety may be a chronic issue which occurs on a constant basis for long periods of time. Reasoning and rationale cannot help a person who has abnormal anxiety as the individual will suffer from irrational behaviors such as:
- Incessant worrying
- Problems with concentration and memory
- Retreating into reclusive behaviors
- Difficulties at work, home, in relationships
- Development of the following disorders: generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), social anxiety disorder (SAD)
Anxiety disorders are among the most frequently diagnosed psychiatric disorders in the United States. Adults and children alike are affected, though people are not alone in dealing with anxiety. Anxiety disorders are treatable and controllable with avoidable complications. Treatment options may include individual and group therapy sessions along with medication where necessary.
An individual need not suffer in silence from chronic anxiety and should seek help right away if it becomes a life-altering condition. A person who struggles with anxiety may struggle to take the first step to receive help. Loved ones can play an important role in guiding and supporting a family member, friend or other individual through the process of finding therapeutic support for the condition, but only if he or she is ready and willing to accept help.
If you or a loved one are struggling with chronic anxiety, there is hope. Anxiety can crop up as a side effect in addiction recovery. Let go of the shame of asking for help and contact Hired Power. Together we can help you find the necessary support to move forward in recovery.