Dealing with Anxiety Disorder after Addiction

Addiction and recovery side effects can include, anxiety disorder, and panic attacks. In this episode Dr Tra Ahia, Psychologist offers treatment options for dealing with, anxiety disorder.

I was listening to a podcast last week and the guest was talking about her, anxiety disorder, and her story triggered a memory of a personal acquaintance who was a heroin addict and developed, anxiety disorder.

In the late 80’s I was working in sales and my boss’s daughter was an, Heroin addict. We were close enough that she would tell me what it was like being addicted to Heroin. She told me how she would cook the heroin until it became a liquid and then she would shoot it into her neck because she got a more immediate high. She showed me the holes in her neck which she covered up with scarves. Her father who was wealthy gave her a car and she sold that car for peanuts to get money to buy Heroin. She attempted to go to rehab several times; but always walked out because she said they just left you in a room to scream in pain. She said the pain of withdrawal was unbearable. She then started a methadone treatment which is a synthetic version of Heroin.  They reduced the dose of the methadone gradually to wean your body off Heroin. But what I want to get to was her, anxiety disorder. She got such bad, panic attacks, that she couldn’t leave the house without her safe person, her boyfriend. I don’t remember if he used drugs; but when the relationship ended she was unable to leave to leave the house for weeks, not even to buy groceries. Then she was too anxious to start dating. She stressed about some man asking “Can I touch your boobs” I don’t know what became of her; but I think of her often.

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If you have an, anxiety disorder – Your brain raises ahead to predict the future. The guest on the podcast had, anxiety disorder, and she described it as “life fright” or , agoraphobia, She said to think about Stage fright. You feel nervous, you think you are going to freeze up or faint, you start to sweat, you think people are going to laugh at you etc. well people with, anxiety disorder, or, agoraphobia, feel like that all the time.

They have, agoraphobia, talking to strangers, checking out at the grocery store, at the bank, going for an interview, at a cocktail party, almost any conversation with a stranger, that’s why the guest called it “life fright.”

 

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Dr Tra  as the author of the book “Call me an Addict, war on women” How does my story regarding anxiety being called “Life Fright” relates to your experience?

 

I think for that young lady or whoever coined that term, for her that helped her manage her, anxiety disorder.  That term helped her understand for herself this thing that she was feeling, so for her that was a good term to use, this Life Fright. My thoughts when I think about, life fright,  is that I’m afraid of living period.  The entire gamut of life, so for me I would not use that term as a replicator to, anxiety disorder; but I can see why she did.

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I understand there are 3 types of, Anxiety Disorders,

  1. Situational anxiety
  2. social anxiety and
  3. high functioning anxiety

Can you explain the difference of these forms of anxiety and which is most common with substance abuse?

There are more than just three types of, anxiety disorder,  way more.  I think it’s important also for the audience to understand that when we talk about, anxiety disorder, we’re talking about an irrational fear or, agoraphobia, of something that someone is experiencing.  It’s irrational, it’s not logical that you are excessively fearful over this specific situation or you’re apprehensive about something or you have difficulty managing daily tasks.  So when we think about, agoraphobia, or,  anxiety disorder, I want them to know that it’s irrational to know your heart is racing, and you feel like you’re going to die.

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There are six main categories of, anxiety disorders,  like I said there are more than three!

  1. Phobias
  2. Panic attacks, with or without, agoraphobia, you have
  3. Generalized, anxiety disorder,
  4. Obsessive compulsive disorder or, OCD,
  5. Acute stress disorder and
  6. Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD

 

The American Psychological Association lists research on how, anxiety disorder, is diagnosed.

This disorder called, anxiety disorder, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual

It’s normal to become anxious and at one time or another. A car almost hit you, you are going for an interview, you sense danger etc. Anxiety is normal under certain conditions, what we are talking about here is the irrational fear or, agoraphobia, that is a disorder.

Something who’s unable to leave their home. This is, agoraphobia, they have a fear of leaving surroundings that they’re familiar with.

This a serious affliction.

 

There are three systems of functioning that need to change in, Anxiety Disorder

  1. Cognitive
  2. Physical and
  3. Behavioral

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High Functioning Anxiety Disorder
High Functioning Anxiety Disorder

 

How would, high-functioning anxiety, work?

An addict could develop a, panic attack, because perhaps they’re they don’t have the substance anymore, or it could be someone who gains, agoraphobia,  as a result of some interaction they’ve had with a place they frequented to attain their substance.

An addict with, high-functioning anxiety, usually is on a treatment plan in conjunction with medication to control their, anxiety disorder.

An addict could develop a, panic attack, because perhaps they’re they don’t have the substance anymore, or it could be someone who gains, agoraphobia,  as a result of some interaction they’ve had with a place they frequented to attain their substance.

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Anxiety disorder is a form of mental illness. Dr Tra outside of substance abuse, what are some other  contributing factors to Anxiety Disorder?

I understand that mental illness presents itself in many forms:

  • Schizophrenia
  • Anxiety disorder
  • Anorexia
  • Depression
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My research shows that these disorders present themselves as early as 14 years old and can be treated successfully by mental health professionals if treatment is started early; but because people feel that mental illness equals crazy, they don’t talk about it or seek help.

Research show that 90% of suicides results from mental illness like, anxiety disorder, and depression. How does talk therapy from a Life Coach, social worker or Psychologist such as yourself help patients?

Talk therapy allows the client to feel listened to and understood.  It allows them to download and get advise.  It can save many from suicide.

 

How would you help someone suffering from, anxiety disorder?

Mental illness is something that keeps a lot of people up at night but nobody wants to talk about during the day

It is the visitor who enters without knocking

1 in 20 become disabled by mental illness i.e. Can’t function in society

So let’s start talking.

ANXIETY has become the defining mental health issue of our decade — women are affected at twice the rate of men, and now children and young adults are also more stressed and anxious than ever before. Join us to learn nutritional and gut solutions for your anxiety!

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Additional Resources

Drug and Alcohol Treatment for Women with Trauma

Registration

Understanding and Managing Compulsive Behaviors

Call me an Addict: Child Abuse Statistics P3

https://adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/suicide

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/kc/suicidal-thoughts-ideation-193026