Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety Disorders and Addiction

malibu_drug_rehab_032111bSome anxiety can be a normal part of life. People typically feel somewhat anxious when confronting high-stress situations such as speaking in public, studying for an important exam, going on a job interview, or meeting a significant other’s parents for the first time. But when anxiety is a constant part of life or is so overwhelming that it is difficult to cope with the realities of life on a day-to-day basis, then it has become a disabling disorder. People who suffer from anxiety disorders are likely to experience upsetting or intrusive thoughts or feelings that disrupt their day-to-day lives and make it difficult or impossible to enjoy normal activities. Anxiety disorders are highly prevalent and continue to rise in incidence, especially as a co-occurring disorder with drug or alcohol abuse. However, there is an effective treatment. You can experience freedom from anxiety.

At Journey Malibu, we understand that anxiety is especially disabling when it interacts with alcoholism and other substance abuse, and we have the tools necessary to treat both disorders concurrently. Our experienced staff of compassionate caregivers will teach you how to implement new and improved therapeutic techniques to treat your anxiety disorder effectively while also helping you to get your drug or alcohol abuse under control. At Journey Malibu we are trained in cognitive-behavioral techniques and other scientifically approved therapeutic modalities as well as experiential therapies, all of which can help you learn to decrease and manage your anxiety symptoms effectively, with the goal of rediscovering a life without anxiety!


Anxiety and depression are an important part of addiction. They can lead to addiction, and addiction can lead to anxiety or depression. This circular relationship can exacerbate both issues, with each intensifying the other. People sometimes use drugs and alcohol to escape the feelings of anxiety or depression.

Approximately 15 to 30 percent of addicts suffer from both addiction and underlying depression. This is sometimes called a dual diagnosis. People who have both depression and addiction often have a repeating pattern of staying sober for a while and then relapsing because they feel awful.

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Panic Disorder Panic attacks can come on like a bullet out of nowhere, striking with intense and terrifying feelings of dread and imminent doom. Panic disorder is characterized by these repeated and unexpected feelings of terror, which often have no direct warning before they occur. Panic attacks are frequently accompanied by physical sensations such as chest pain, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, dizziness, or abdominal distress. You may feel hot and sweaty or cold and clammy, and the person experiencing the panic attack may think that they are having a heart attack, going crazy, or dying ( Without treatment, panic disorder may lead its sufferers to avoid triggering situations or places, which can be extremely disruptive to his or her everyday life. About 2.4 million Americans suffer from panic disorder, and in about one-third of these cases, it can even result in agoraphobia, a condition in which a person is so disabled by fear of having another panic attack that they feel unable to leave their house or venture outside certain “safe quarters.” Understandably, depression, drug abuse, and alcoholism frequently accompany panic disorder, and the co-occurring disorders are likely to feed into one another, each exacerbating and perpetuating the other’s symptoms. Fortunately, there are a variety of treatment and support options that can be effective in combating panic disorders, including psychotherapy, symptom education, medications, and support groups. All of these methods, as well as professionals qualified to monitor their effectiveness, are available at Journey Malibu’s Recovery Center.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder is an anxiety disorder which finds its sufferers plagued by persistent and unwelcome thoughts or images (obsessions) which cause the person to feel the need to engage in repetitive ritualistic practice (compulsions) in order to manage or control the intruding thoughts or to prevent them from occurring. People with the obsessive-compulsive disorder may feel compelled to count objects or things, to wash their hands repeatedly, to check things over and over, or to engage in other repetitive tasks that end up impeding the course of their everyday life. In severe cases, OCD behaviors can take up so much of an individual’s time and energy than normal engagement in life becomes impossible. About 3.3 million `Americans are living with OCD, and many of these cases are co-morbid with substance abuse. As with other anxiety disorders, there are a variety of treatment and support options available. For individuals battling obsessive-compulsive disorder, rest assured that this is a co-occurring disorder we can help you with at Journey Malibu. Please don’t hesitate to give us a call.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

malibu_drug_rehab_032111dPost-traumatic stress disorder is a pervasive and debilitating anxiety disorder that develops after a terrifying experience or an ordeal in which grave physical harm was threatened or actually occurred. Some common examples of PTSD-inducing events include military combat, a car accident, natural disaster, and sexual or physical abuse; however, PTSD can be brought on by a variety of fearful and threatening situations. People with PTSD often have frightening memories of their experience, which can seem as if it were happening over and over again in real time. Reliving their traumatic experience through nightmares or flashbacks can make them feel numb and emotionally detached, and become distant from people they used to be close to. They are also likely to be easily startled and have trouble sleeping. PTSD affects 5.2 million Americans, and is one of the more commonly co-occurring disorders, as many sufferers use alcohol or drugs to cope with their symptoms. And while some PTSD sufferers recover soon after the troubling event, more often than not, recovery takes time – along with therapy, and possibly medication. For those individuals, Journey Malibu’s Recovery Center is standing by ready to guide you toward healing and relief.

General Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

Generalized anxiety disorder is when that gnawing feeling just won’t go away. It is characterized by chronic nervousness and anxiety, and excessive or exaggerated tension even when there is little or nothing going on to link it to. These are not the normal worries of bills, job deadlines, or exams. The more than 4 million Americans suffering from general anxiety disorder have to deal with intense worries nearly all the time, as well as the physiological symptoms that go along with it. A generalized anxiety disorder may cause such physical symptoms as fatigue, headaches, muscle tension, muscle aches, difficulty swallowing, trembling, twitching, irritability, sweating, and hot flashes. A severe generalized anxiety disorder may be accompanied by addiction and/or alcoholism and can overwhelm a person’s life to the point where they need to seek treatment. However, there are effective treatments, and at Journey Malibu we are able to provide you with the help you need to overcome GAD and lead a productive, fulfilling life.

Social Anxiety Disorder

If you’ve ever experienced butterflies in your stomach, you are not alone – we’ve all been there. But social anxiety disorder is something else entirely. People with this condition – about 5.3 million Americans – experience overwhelming anxiety and excessive self-consciousness in everyday social situations. Some have problems with speaking or eating in public, and some have problems just being around others. People with social anxiety disorder fear that others are watching or judging them, which can cause humiliation and embarrassment and create considerable difficulties in forming relationships. Moreover, many people with social anxiety disorder feel the need to turn to drugs or alcohol so that they can engage in social interaction without overwhelming feelings of nervousness and self-doubt. Self-medication for social anxiety doesn’t have to ruin your life. As with other anxiety disorders, social anxiety can be treated effectively.

Journey Malibu can help you find peace and be able to interact in public without needing to turn to drugs or alcohol to cope.

Call our helpline today at (888)-717-5643