Anxiety is an unavoidable part of the human experience, which comes and goes just like happiness and heartbreak. Most people experience anxiety when they find themselves in high-stress situations. For example, perhaps a student has a major exam coming up, which will count towards a quarter of their entire semester grade. As a result, the student feels anxious the night before the exam, maybe experiencing racing thoughts and an inability to fall asleep.
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Anxiety Disorders and Panic Attacks
Perhaps a person with an expired license gets pulled over by a law enforcement officer for a busted taillight; this person likely experiences immense anxiety when they see the flashing red and blue lights in their rearview mirror. Once the stressful situation resolves, the anxiety typically subsides. It comes and goes, just like every other human emotion. However, those struggling with a diagnosable anxiety disorder experience exceptionally high-stress levels that do not simply dissipate when life starts going their way.
They experience a range of disruptive and sometimes crippling symptoms that interfere with the quality of day-to-day life. People who suffer from a legitimate anxiety disorder often require intensive treatment, which typically includes anxiolytic medication and psychotherapy. What is anxiolytic medication, and if someone is prescribed this medication to treat anxiety, will the anxiety symptoms worsen when the course of medication is stopped?
More on Anxiolytic Medications and Anxiety Disorders
Anxiolytic medications work by targeting the chemicals within the brain that contribute to excessive excitability (otherwise known as anxiety). Generally speaking, anxiety stems from a fear of the unknown. The mind starts running through a series of “what ifs,” and before you know it, you feel sick to your stomach, your palms are sweaty, and you can’t seem to catch your breath. Being prescribed an anxiolytic medication, also known as a benzodiazepine, helps calm the central nervous system and alleviates this intense and disruptive response.
Some of the more common anxiolytic medications include Xanax, Librium, Ativan, Klonopin, and Valium. Suppose you or someone you know has been prescribed one of these medications for an anxiety disorder, and you are taking it exactly as recommended. In that case, there is a good chance the medication is doing its job and successfully reducing your anxiety. However, because anxiolytic medications can be habit-forming, many people prescribed these medications end up abusing them.
It is also common for people without anxiety to take these medications because of their soothing effects. The good news is that recovery is always possible, regardless of how severe an anxiolytic medication addiction has become.
Garden State Treatment Center and Dual Diagnosis Disorder Recovery
At Garden State Treatment Center, we understand how disruptive untreated anxiety disorders can be. Unfortunately, anxiety and substance abuse often go hand-in-hand, seeing as many people struggling with anxiety attempt to self-medicate symptoms with drugs or alcohol. Because many anxiolytic medications are habit-forming, we focus on equipping each of our dual diagnosis clients with the tools they need to overcome anxiety without relying on addictive medications.
Start Professional Healing at Garden State Treatment Center
Medication-assisted treatment is often an important part of dual diagnosis recovery. Our dual diagnosis program provides clients with the professional psychiatric care they need to get their mental illness under control while working towards solid and lasting sobriety. If you would like to learn more about the link between anxiety and addiction, or if you would like to learn more about the role anxiolytic medications play in dual diagnosis recovery, contact us today.
We are happy to answer any questions you may have, and we are happy to get you or your loved one started with our simple admissions process. Then, all you have to do is reach out for help, and we will take it from there.