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Learn more about the extra precautionary measures we are taking amid COVID-19 concerns **Updated November 25, 2020

woman drinking tea and looking out the window avoiding Anxiety During a Pandemic

Anxiety During a Pandemic

Anxiety disorders can have debilitating symptoms. There is an increased risk of anxiety disorders in those with substance use disorder. The latest global events can cause an increase in anxiety during a pandemic. This may cause you to experience the symptoms of an anxiety disorder, particularly if you are already prone to anxiety. If you are suffering from the symptoms of anxiety and addiction, dual diagnosis treatment can greatly improve your quality of life.

Symptoms of Anxiety Disorders

The symptoms of anxiety are both physical and mental. Everyone experiences occasional anxiety. However, if you have anxiety symptoms frequently, and they have a negative impact on your life, you may need anxiety treatment during the pandemic.

Symptoms of physical anxiety include:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Rapid breathing
  • Trembling
  • Insomnia
  • Gastrointestinal problems

Mental symptoms of anxiety include:

  • Feeling nervous or restless
  • A sense of impending doom or terror
  • Worry that doesn’t allow you to focus on other things
  • A disproportionate response to a perceived danger
  • Avoiding people or situations because they cause anxiety

Ask yourself how often you experience these feelings of anxiety during the pandemic. Do they interfere with activities you once enjoyed or your daily responsibilities? Are they often overwhelming, so that you can’t function properly until they pass? If you answered yes to these questions, you should seek mental health treatment.

What Is Anxiety Treatment?

Initially considering treatment for your anxiety can actually increase your nervous feelings, because it seems unknown. Your mind may be filled with self-doubt and worst-case scenarios. This prevents many people with anxiety disorders from seeking treatment, even though anxiety is highly treatable. Anxiety can be treated alone or at the same time or co-occurring with a substance use disorder.

Therapy

Psychotherapy and behavioral therapy are very helpful forms of anxiety treatment. Psychotherapy is often a long term treatment that allows the client to process deep-rooted issues. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) takes a practical approach, allowing the client to quickly make progress in changing negative behavioral and thought patterns.

Recreational therapy, including art and music therapy, can be beneficial as well, particularly as a complementary treatment. It can help you learn to relax, be mindful of the moment, and express yourself creatively.

Exercise

Exercise is becoming part of many mental health and addiction treatment programs. Studies by the ADAA show that exercise can reduce anxiety and depression as effectively as medication. Walking, yoga, or physical recreation activities like sports can all give you the exercise you need to help keep your body and mind healthy.

Diet and Nutrition

The proper diet may help calm the symptoms of anxiety, particularly if you have a poor diet. Lots of carbs can spike your hormone levels. Vitamin deficiencies can worsen anxiety symptoms. A proper diet won’t cure anxiety, but it can help ease your symptoms and improve your overall health.

Medication

Some clients need a combination of medication and therapy to manage their anxiety. There are many types of medications that can help to treat anxiety. Some anxiety medications carry a risk of addiction, especially benzodiazepines. However, anti-depressants and other types of medication can be effective in treating anxiety without addiction risk.

Managing Anxiety During a Pandemic

In addition to seeking anxiety treatment during COVID-19, there are things you can do at home to help manage your anxiety or prevent it from getting out of control. First, limit the amount of social media and news that you see.

Keep in contact with loved ones in a safe manner. Social distancing doesn’t have to mean social isolation. If you are in recovery, stay in touch with your sponsor.

Lastly, don’t wait until your symptoms are severe or overwhelming to seek anxiety treatment. If you feel you aren’t coping well on your own, don’t hesitate to contact Washburn House. Our rehab facility can help you recover from addiction and anxiety, so you can live a better life. Call 855.298.3104 now.

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