One person shared her story of struggling with anxiety via the Anxiety and Depression Association of America’s (ADAA) main website. She stated,
“I recognized that I was the one letting my anxiety conquer me. Seeking help was not a sign of weakness, it was a sign of strength. I was courageous! This realization made it possible for me to pursue my dreams.”
It is not uncommon for those in addiction recovery to experience co-occurring disorders, such as anxiety and substance use disorder (SUD). Co-occurring disorders can make recovery a bit challenging, especially if a person doesn’t receive the right tools and resources. Thankfully, there are a number of tools that can enhance the mind, body and spirit during recovery – and they are truly transformative.
Through 12-Step programs, individual therapy, group sessions and holistic activities, you can push past your anxiety to find a place of more grounding and peace. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), for example, is a common therapy approach that teaches individuals to identify the thoughts that are triggering them. Through “take-home” exercises, discussion and exploration, clients are able to get a better handle on their thoughts by simply placing meaning to the thoughts that benefit their happiness, health and wellness. In 2016, a study published in the journal Behaviour Research and Therapy found that of participants who participated in CBT compared to those who engaged in their normal treatment, those with CBT experienced greater improvements in symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), negative affect (such as anxiety) and more.
Those with anxiety may also benefit from medication that helps to treat it; if clients would prefer a more holistic approach, they could greatly benefit from holistic practices such as meditation, yoga, art therapy, massage therapy and much more. The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health states that these complementary approaches could be a wonderful addition to treatment for anxiety.
If you’ve been struggling with anxiety while in addiction recovery, know that you’re not alone. As you become stronger in recovery, you’ll find that those troubling thoughts and emotions are much easier to navigate. Don’t hesitate to seek help – recovery is possible.
Cumberland Heights is a nonprofit alcohol and drug-addiction treatment center located on the banks of the Cumberland river in Nashville, Tennessee. On a sprawling 177-acre campus, we are made up of 2 12-Step immersion campuses, 12 outpatient recovery centers and 4 sober living homes. We believe that each person has a unique story to tell – and that’s why we always put the patient first.