Those who may respond more strongly to the stress of the new coronavirus (COVID-19) disease outbreak include people who have mental health conditions, including problems with substance use. This is according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). As such, if you’re susceptible to using drugs or alcohol to cope, it is extremely important for you to find positive ways to manage stress and anxiety. Coping strategies can include self-care, seeing your doctor for medication therapy, or anxiety treatment at a rehab. Dealing with anxiety during a pandemic is vital. Fortunately, Recovery Ranch PA has programs and services to help.
COVID-19 Can Trigger Anxiety and Substance Use
The need to remain calm or seek anxiety treatment if necessary cannot be overstated. If you’ve been following the news, you may know that the stock market has taken a hit, people are advised to self-quarantine at home, kids are out of school, and foodstuffs are disappearing from the grocery store shelves. It almost feels like doomsday watching people walk around with facial masks. Others rush to buy tonnes of food as if the world is coming to an end. All this is enough to make you panic in fear of what’s to come.
Those who don’t have anxiety may develop anxiety or anxiety disorder. An anxiety disorder can develop or worsen if the symptoms of anxiety become disabling or persist for several weeks. Those with an anxiety disorder may need medical treatment, especially if they are also struggling with a substance abuse disorder or addiction.
Anxiety Symptoms to Watch Out For
The three most common types of anxiety disorders are generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, and panic disorder. Individuals who use drugs and alcohol are more at risk of developing anxiety. For example, if they’re unable to get and use the addictive substance or are forced to remain indoors to avoid contracting the virus. Similarly, people with anxiety often consume alcohol or do drugs as a way to cope with anxiety symptoms. Common symptoms include:
- Overwhelming or irrational worry or fear
- A sensation of choking
- Trouble sleeping (insomnia)
- Panic, heart palpitations, or shortness of breath
- Feeling a sense of impending danger or doom
- Sweating, shaking, agitation, or irritability
Find Help With Anxiety During A Pandemic At Recovery Ranch PA
Millions of men and women in the US are struggling with a substance use disorder or addiction and need help to overcome the disorder. Furthermore, recovering substance abusers may be at a higher risk of relapse throughout this vulnerable period. Relapse can happen if you or your loved one cave to drugs and alcohol use triggers such as anxiety or depression.
By getting anxiety treatment, you or your loved one can avert substance use altogether or the risk of relapse. Once your doctor diagnoses you with anxiety, he or she may recommend treatment with medication or behavioral therapy. Treatment can be done at an addiction treatment center or with a therapist. The main benefits of treatment include reducing the risk of alcohol or drug use to cope as well as reducing the risk of relapse.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is often the first line of treatment for an anxiety disorder. CBT can help you change thinking and beliefs that lead you to substance use. It also helps you to identify triggers and learn new ways to cope. Anxiety treatment with medication usually involves the use of anti-anxiety medications, anti-depressants, and drugs like benzodiazepines. These drugs balance mood and help you to stay calm and focused.
The CDC has provided information and a list of ways to manage stress and cope. Recommendations include limiting the amount of time you spend watching the news and staying off social media sites. Living a healthy lifestyle, which includes a healthy diet and regular exercise, is another simple way to calm your inner self during this deadly pandemic. At Recovery Ranch PA you can find the support you need to address your anxiety during a pandemic. So reach out to us at 717.969.9126.