Although anxiety tends to be a persistent experience for some people, others might experience a short and intense period of fear called panic attacks. These experiences are often uncomfortable, particularly because they tend to come from out of nowhere and without warning. In fact, the fear of having another panic attack can add to one’s general experience of anxiety. And for many people, this might cause one to turn to alcohol, marijuana, or other substances as a means to cope.
Instead of using substances to cope with the experience of panic attacks, it’s better to get anxiety treatment. This form of treatment specifically addresses the type of anxiety disorder you might have. In the case of regularly experiencing panic attacks, there’s a good chance that a person has Panic Disorder. Unlike other anxiety disorders, the experience of anxiety is short-lived and has a marked beginning and end.
It is important to know that anxiety treatment is available for Panic Disorder. Without knowing this, a person might choose to regularly use alcohol or other drugs, as mentioned above, and slowly develop an addiction. In fact, it’s very common for a person to have both a mental illness (such as an anxiety disorder) as well as an addiction. If this is the case for you, then it’s important to address both illnesses.
Typically, anxiety treatment will include medication as well as some form of therapy. The medication will help to lower the level of anxiety you’re feeling. It may even remove the panic attacks altogether. This can allow you to return to a normal level of functioning in your life, especially if the panic attacks were affecting your ability to work or have healthy relationships.
Also, the medication can actually facilitate therapy. Working with a therapist or psychologist can facilitate exploring any issues in your life that might be contributing to anxiety. In the case of panic attacks, this might be an unresolved trauma. The panic attacks might be a symptom of post traumatic stress disorder, also known as PTSD. When looking at back at any challenging moments in your life while in therapy, the medication can ease the challenge of that experience as you recall any painful memories.
Together, medication combined with therapy is a successful form of anxiety treatment. You might find that your therapist or psychologist also recommends relaxation techniques. Knowing how to relax on a regular basis can not only ease your general levels of anxiety and prevent further panic attacks, it can also help curb addiction. One of the most common contributing factors to substance use is the inability to cope with the circumstances of one’s life. However, when a person knows how to relax, he or she has a greater ability to find the calm within themselves when faced with a challenging circumstances – versus turning to the use of substances.
If you’re struggling with panic attacks and substance use, contact a mental health provider in your neighborhood who can facilitate anxiety treatment. Doing so can prevent addiction and ease your general experience of life.
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