Coping with Anxiety

Coping with Anxiety During Recovery

Addiction issues and emotional growth are part of recovery. Every person deals with anxiety on a daily basis. Self-help may not always be enough. Normal anxiety can be managed on one’s own while abnormal levels of anxiety may warrant professional help. Learn about treatment options and coping mechanisms for dealing with anxiety during recovery.

Purpose of Anxiety

Anxiety may be helpful when it urges a person to act quickly when time is of the essence. Also known as ‘fight or flight,’ anxiety can prompt a person to work harder on something and keep people safe from harm. How a person reacts to unsolicited events is something which makes each person unique, playing a major role in a response to symptoms of stress.

Anxiety may arise in the following ways:

  • Dry mouth
  • Fatigue
  • Jitters
  • Lump in throat
  • Racing or pounding heart
  • Startled reaction
  • Sweating
  • Trembling
  • Worry

Anxiety Triggers

Triggers for anxiety can occur on a regular basis which may include:

  • Confusion due to unclear communication
  • Getting stuck in traffic
  • Lack of time to complete goals
  • Spilling, dropping, missing or forgetting
  • Technical issues with a computer or phone
  • Turbulent relations with another person or group

Larger scale triggers may also factor in which have a greater impact on a person’s life. The following are issues which may arise on a bigger scale and cause more distress:

  • Coping with illness
  • Coping with loss (grief)
  • Firsts (day of school, job, dates)
  • Important exams, interviews, performances
  • Life changes, marriage, divorce, birth of child or relocation

Normal Anxiety

Reading the lists above may even provoke some feelings of anxiety which people are all too familiar with (triggers). Physical and emotional symptoms of normal anxious feelings are able to be tempered with rational thinking and self-help activities such as exercise, diet, sleep and meditative relaxation techniques. When anxiety occurs without a trigger, it may interfere with functions of daily living and present as more challenging symptoms of anxiety. In this case, professional help may be necessary.

Abnormal Anxiety

Symptoms of abnormal anxiety are chronic, constantly recurring issues over long stretches of time. When left untreated, the person suffering will experience difficulty with concentration and memory and retreat into reclusive behavior. Difficulties at home, work and in relationships may also occur. The following anxiety disorders may occur:

  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Panic disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Social anxiety disorder

Treatment of Anxiety

Anxiety disorders are among the most frequently diagnosed psychiatric disorders in the United States, affecting children and adults alike. Easily controllable, the complications of anxiety disorders are treatable with the right support including individual and group therapy, if necessary. Motivational interviewing can prepare individuals to change addictive behavior. The key is finding the right support to help guide a person through anxiety while also understanding principles of recovery and sobriety.

The Villa provides support for individuals in recovery who struggle with anxiety disorders. It is possible to overcome an anxiety disorder with the right combination of medication and therapeutic techniques. Contact us for information on how to connect to the right services for you.